According to new test results released from the Office of the State Superintendent, the percentage of students at Ballou, Roosevelt and Woodson high schools in the District on a college readiness track comes in at a startling zero.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career’s numbers on Tuesday, Oct. 27, showed a grim picture for the future of many DC Public School students.
“The PARCC scores show that DC Public Schools still have a lot of work to do to prepare every student for a successful future in college and a career,” Kaya Henderson, chancellor, D.C. Public Schools said.
“This year’s test serves as an important baseline from which we will work to help prepare all students.”
Twenty-seven percent of DCPS students are proficient in 10th-grade English, and 12 percent are proficient in geometry. That means less than half of District high school students are competent in their core curriculum.
“DCPS is committed to having difficult, but honest, conversations with families about how their children are doing,” Henderson said. “By working together, we can once again demonstrate significant student achievement.”
Council member David Grosso, chairperson, Committee on Education, released a statement calling the results a sobering but necessary performance reality check.
“As expected, today’s release of PARCC high school scores is nothing to cheer about; however, we must remember that this is a recalibrating moment in our city for assessment of progress in the public education system,” Grosso said.
“When the District of Columbia transitioned to the PARCC assessment, we knew that the test would be more difficult,” he said. But we also knew that it was important for us to raise our standards to ensure that our students are honestly “college and career ready.”
According to OSSE, 11 states including the District of Columbia administered the PARCC assessment for the first time last spring.
PARCC replaced the former DC Comprehensive Assessment System in an effort to raise the bar academically for students.
Although the District as a whole overwhelmingly underperformed, two high schools exceeded.
Benjamin Banneker High School in Northwest saw 74 percent of its students rated as college- and career-ready in 10th grade English and 32 percent for geometry.
School Without Walls High School in Northwest had 97 percent of its students rated as college- and career-ready in tenth grade English along with 76 percent for geometry.
Democrats for Education Reform D.C. said in a written statement that there are gaps in opportunities for students from different backgrounds.
“We know that overall, our schools are improving, but these scores show that there’s still work to be done, particularly for our low-income children, children of color, children with special needs, and English language learners,” Joy Russell, DFER D.C. advisory board member said.
“Previous assessment systems often painted an overly optimistic picture, but today’s results show the work we have to do on behalf of our kids — so let’s get to it.”