Less Than A Quarter Of DC Elementary Students Prepared For School

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District of Columbia officials released results from a recent citywide elementary school exam Monday, and the scores are abysmal. Less than a quarter of students met expectations in either math or English.

Among all eighth grade students who took the test, just 3 percent met expectations in math, while 8 percent of seventh graders met the math expectations, according to Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test results.

D.C. Public School performance broken down by grade level

The PARCC test is designed by 11 different states and the District to provide a test of college and career readiness for students. The test was administered for the first time in the 2014-2015 school year to more than five million students.

Of all the D.C. public school students in grades three through eight who took the test, only 25 percent met English expectations, and just 21 percent are on the correct level in math achievement.

D.C. Public School test results by subject

Around half of individual elementary schools didn’t have a single student who exceeded expectations in math.

Jack Jacobson, president of the State Board of Education (SBOE), says the test results show a need for renewed urgency to improve city schools.

“These PARCC results echo the scores for our high school students,” he said in a statement. “Every student in every ward should have the same opportunity to succeed. We must do better.”

In October, city officials released the test results for high school students that showed just one in 10 sophomores is on track to be prepared for college.

The vast majority of city schools scored flat zeros in math preparedness, with the 10 percent average being largely propped up by two premiere magnet schools with rigorous admission standards.

Kaya Henderson, chancellor of DC Public Schools, called the test results “sobering,” and called for more “strategic investments” in the city’s failing schools.

“With the new baseline set by these PARCC results, we will work to ensure that these scores improve each year by continuing our strategic investments and working with our community,” she said.

While the results are mostly negative, they show a wide racial discrepancy with white students far outpacing their black and Hispanic peers.

According to the test scores, 79 percent of white students met expectations for learning in English while only 17 percent of black students and 21 percent of Hispanic students met expectations.

Several states across the country released their test results over the past month, all with test scores superior to D.C. schools.

In Massachusetts, for instance, 60 percent of students met English expectations, while 52 percent of students met math expectations. In New Jersey, 50 percent of students met English expectations, while 37 percent of students met math expectations. A few other states that reported results also had higher test scores.

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