DC CAS Results Updated

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
News Release
3333 14th Street, N.W., Suite 210
Washington, DC 20010
Phone: 202-328-2660
For Immediate Release: August 18, 2009
Contact: Nona Richardson 202-328-2670
Washington, D.C. —  Today, the D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) released an update on the analysis of the 2008-2009 District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DCCAS), administered to eligible D.C. charter schools this past spring.  The DCCAS is the citywide standardized test taken by all public school students in Washington, D.C., and is the test used to determine whether students in public schools are meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), as required by the Federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  It is one part of the comprehensive accountability system the PCSB uses to hold all D.C. public charter schools accountable for student performance.  A final, more comprehensive analysis will be included in the PCSB’s 2009 School Performance Reports, due to be released in September 2009.

After a month-long appeals process, the overall DCCAS outcomes remained fairly similar to the preliminary results released in mid-July.  Since the initial overview, PCSB members and staff began looking at individual school outcomes and trends at the elementary and secondary levels, against school improvement interventions that were implemented during the previous school year.  Many of the schools that used data-driven instruction to carefully monitor student progress and make adjustments throughout the year showed high gains in math and reading. Consistent with the preliminary results, the greatest gains were seen in secondary schools, while elementary schools on average had more modest gains. 

Yet, the average 9 point gain in reading and 14 point gain in math at the secondary level belied the number of schools that made substantial gains far beyond those numbers. In fact, 79% of the secondary schools showed significant reading gains and 71% made substantial improvements in math.  Friendship PCS’s high school, Collegiate Academy, showed the highest gains in math, improving math proficiency by 39 points from 29% in 2008 to 68% in 2009. Collegiate Academy’s reading gains were more modest than their math gains, but were still significant, increasing the percentage of students proficient or advanced by 16% more than the previous school year.  Cesar Chavez PCS’s Capitol Hill campus increased reading proficiency by 26 points and math by 31 points; Chavez’s Bruce Middle school campus improved student proficiency in reading and math by 25 and 30 percentage points, respectively; its Parkside campus improved reading proficiency by 13 points and math by 19 points. KAMIT Institute PCS similarly improved reading and math by 22 and 28 points, respectively.  Booker T. Washington raised reading proficiency by 22 points and increased math proficiency by 11 points. All but three middle or high schools posted gains in reading, math or both. 

KIPP DC: KEY Academy PCS’s relatively modest gains of 4 points in reading and 3 points in math earned it the highest secondary school proficiency at 77% in reading and 94% in math. Washington Latin was a close second with 82% proficiency in both reading and math.  Numerous other secondary schools with small overall gains posted proficiency levels above 70% in reading, math or both. (see the attached tables).

Revised elementary school data showed a small overall increase in proficiency in reading and math, which also shadowed the remarkable improvements in a number of schools like Tree of Life PCS, Meridian PCS, D.C. Bilingual, Friendship’s Southeast and Woodridge campuses, Children’s Studio School, and Hope Community PCS’s Tolson campus.  Tree of life posted the greatest gains, with math proficiency gains of 33 percentage points and reading proficiency improvement of 29 points, bringing proficiency levels up to 65% and 71%, respectively.  Meridian PCS raised student proficiency in reading and math by 24 and 26 points, respectively. 

E. L. Haynes’ gains of 6 points in reading and 12 points in math earned the school the highest overall elementary proficiency levels of 66% in reading and 80% in math.  Achievement Prep PCS completed its first year of operation in 2009 with 56% of its students proficient in reading and 82% proficient in math. 

Tom Nida, chair of the D.C. Public Charter School Board stated, “Looking at the individual school results certainly does paint a clearer picture of the progress schools are making with their students.”  He added, “With technologies that enable school leaders and teachers to track individual student achievement from week to week, these kinds of results speak even more in favor of data-driven and tailored instructional programs, just as the charter school model favors more individualized improvement strategies and evaluations of school performance. We continue to support and challenge the charter schools to achieve the highest possible academic outcomes, but we should also pause and celebrate the small successes along the way.”

The D.C. Public Charter School Board currently oversees 57 charter schools on 99 campuses, serving more than 28,000 students from every ward of the city.

# # #