DC Public Schools receives encouraging test results ahead of new school year

One week ahead of D.C. Public Schools re-opening for the new school year, officials are pointing to what they call encouraging signs that the school district is turning the corner for the better.

Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled new Partnership For Assessments for College and Careers test scores Monday, which she says show they are on the right track. 

For the fourth year in a row, D.C. schools have shown improvement in the PARCC test scores. Officials celebrated the news saying it shows reforms heading in the right direction.

The PARCC test is given every spring in schools in order to measure students’ performance in English and math in grades three through eight and in high school.

All D.C. students did better on the English portion of the test, but student gains in the math portion were not as strong.

The nation’s capital has a new DCPS chancellor, Lewis. D. Ferebee, and he tells FOX 5 that he is taking a look at the math scores in his first full school year as chancellor.  

He says he is planning to zero in on not just what math is being taught to DCPS students, but how math is being taught.

“Our math curriculum is strong,” said Ferebee. “However, we need to better align our assessments with the curriculum that we’re providing. We’ve got to ensure that we’re properly monitoring the students’ progress so that the teachers approach in the classroom is data-driven.”

Bowser acknowledged that graduation rates last year were only at 68.6 percent, which is a 4.6 percent drop from the year before, but she says those numbers reflect a “reality check” of sorts.  

When it was discovered some D.C. schools were graduating students with excessive absenteeism, there was a crackdown on absenteeism.

“What’s important to us, that the numbers whatever they are, reflect the student’s experience,” said Bowser. “So we can be assured when they graduate and they have a diploma from one of our schools, it reflects achievement and their mastery of programs.” 

Bowser had an important health reminder for parents. She urged parents to make sure their child is immunized.

Over the past year, nationwide the practice of not vaccinating children either on purpose or accidentally has caused outbreaks of diseases like measles in some school districts.

School starts in the District next Monday. 

Click here to view the full 2018-2019 D.C. PARCC test results