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Charter School 2013 DC CAS Scores Show Impressive Gains

Release Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

For Immediate Release: 

Contact: Theola Labbé-DeBose 202-579-9385 cell; 202-328-2670 office

Charter School 2013 DC CAS Scores Show Impressive Gains

African-American and Hispanic Students Above 50% Proficiency
for the First Time


Washington, D.C. —DC public charter school students attending both new and established charter schools performed well above the state average in math and reading on the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) tests, according to state-level results released Tuesday.

Overall, charter school proficiency rates were the highest since the administration of the DC CAS seven years ago, with students posting 58.6% in math and 53.0% in reading, up by 3.9 percentage points in both subjects. Charter school proficiency rates have climbed every year of the DC CAS.  Charter school 2013 DC CAS results were above the state proficiency averages of 53.0% in math and 49.5% in reading.

Other performance highlights in the charter sector:

  • English language learners had nearly a 14-percentage point jump in reading, improving from 30.9% proficiency to 44.7%, which was 5.0 percentage points above the state average of 39.7%.
  • Economically disadvantaged students improved by more than 3 percentage points to 48.4% in reading, 6.4 percentage points above the state average of 42.0%.
  • Special education students saw gains of nearly 3 percentage points to 21.4% in reading, 2.1 percentage points above the state average of 19.3%. In math these students went up by 5.0 percentage points to 29.7%, which is 5.6 percentage points above the state average of 24.1.  
  • Racial and ethnic subgroups saw increases and are now above 50% proficiency in reading and math for the first time:

o   African-American students (50.5% reading) climbed by 3.0 percentage points and are 6.8 percentage points higher than the state average of 43.7%.

o   Hispanic students (54.6% reading) climbed by 6.6 percentage points and are 2.3 percentage points higher than the state average of 52.3%.

Student growth and proficiency on DC CAS are important inputs to the Performance Management Framework (PMF), which PCSB uses to evaluate charter school performance. PCSB will release each charter school’s 2013 PMF ranking in late October.

“What we see in these results is charter schools helping to close the achievement gap in DC,” said John H. “Skip” McKoy, Board Chair. “The steady gains charter schools have achieved year after year, even as they serve a higher percentage of district students, are beginning to add up.  We are thrilled that the gains in charters, combined with the impressive gains at DCPS, have pushed the statewide proficiency rate over 50% for the first time.”

Scott Pearson, PCSB Executive Director, praised the hard work of charter leaders across the District.  He noted that the results reinforce the results in a recently released CREDO update on charter school outcomes that found that on average, a student at a DC charter gets the equivalent educational benefit each year of 99 extra days of school. 

“Among the many charter schools with impressive gains Inspired Teaching PCS had the highest growth of any public school in the city, improving by 26.2 percentage points,” Pearson said.  “I’m particularly proud of Inspired Teaching because it’s the demonstration school of a program that has for years worked with traditional school districts in DC and Baltimore.  It’s an example of charter schools helping to improve all schools.”  




*These schools do not have a PMF Tier either because they were not open in 2012-13, they did not have students in the tested grades (3 -8 and 10), or they were determined to be eligible for alternative accountability standards for the 2012-13 PMF.


About PCSB: The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is setting a national model for creating quality public school options through its rigorous review of new charter applications and effective oversight of charter school performance that is leading the transformation of public education in Washington, DC. PCSB currently oversees 57 public charter schools on 102 campuses serving 34,673 students living in every ward of the city. Learn more at .



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