DC School Chancellor: "Watch this test next year. We're going to be absolutely fine."

- "I think the PARCC scores are an important indicator - but they're not the only indicator of our success," D.C. schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson told FOX 5 on Tuesday.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, scores were released on Monday and showed that only a quarter of D.C. students, from 3rd through 8th grade, met or exceeded expectations in English. The results of the tests also showed that only 24 percent of D.C. students met the benchmark on updated math exams.

Henderson spoke to FOX 5’s Bob Barnard about the scores at an event that honored Seaton Elementary School principal Kim Jackson as 'Principal of the Year.' The award which is presented each year to the top D.C. principal, teacher, and faculty member, comes with a check for $10,000.

"Just like you wouldn't reduce your child to one score that they made on a test, we don't examine, we don't judge ourselves by one score that we made on a particular test," Henderson continued.

Henderson also said that the results of the tests showed income inequality throughout District schools. "We see our highest scores at wealthier schools and we see our lowest scores at schools that are not wealthy," she said. She said that by adding art, music and physical education class to the curriculum she hopes to help expose all students to the knowledge some students already have.

The Chancellor said that new tests are much harder and are very different than previous assessments. "If our young people are going to be college and career ready it's not just about math, English and language arts. It’s about building the social and cultural capital that they need to be able to succeed on these exams that are asking them to do way more than we've ever asked them to do before."

She said educators, like Jackson, are up to the challenge of reading the data, developing a strategy and moving forward to achieve better results.

"And watch this test next year. We're going to be absolutely fine."

READ THE FULL REPORT: http://www.osse.dc.gov/parcc

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