The D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education released the 2014 DC CAS results yesterday and the numbers are stunningly underwhelming. But you don't have to take my word for it. Just take a look at the comment about the scores from the always upbeat and enthusiastic DCPS Chancellor as detailed by the Washington Post's Emma Brown:
“'I have to be honest with you and say I’m disappointed' that the growth wasn't greater."
Overall in the District of Columbia math proficiency for all public school students is 54.4%. For reading the overall proficiency rate is 49.9%. This breaks down for DCPS as having a math proficiency rate of 51.5 and for reading the percentile is 47.7. For charters the math proficiency rate is 59.6% with reading being 53.4%. All of these numbers are basically unchanged from the previous year.
The D.C. Public Charter School Board put out a list of the schools showing the greatest overall gains from last year and a few caught my eye. Cesar Chavez Capitol Hill Campus is up 17.1 points, Friendship PCS increased by 13.2 points, and St. Coletta Special Education PCS improved by 8.3%.
On the top 10 list of charters for overall proficiency I noticed DC Prep's Edgewood Middle PCS at 86.3 percent, KIPP DC College Preparatory at 83.2%, and Washington Latin PCS upon whose whose board I serve at 77.9%.
FOCUS's extremely bright Steve Taylor had some fascinating observations about the statistics:
"The most interesting public charter school news is the widening gap between how well public charters and DCPS students who qualify for free or reduced price school lunch are doing. The gap is now over 15 percentage points in math and almost 13 percentage points in reading. To put this into perspective, if DCPS were able to match DC charters' performance with economically disadvantaged students, about 2,000 additional poor children within the district would be able to read and do math on grade level.
Among African American students, charters now outperform DCPS by almost 17 percentage points in math and 12 percentage points in reading. Again, if DCPS were able to match charter performance, there would be about 2,000 additional African American students able to read and do math on grade level. For special education students the gap widened to almost 10 percentage points in math and over 5 percentage points in reading. Again, if DCPS were able to match charter performance, there would be about 250 additional special education students able to read and do math on grade level."
Still I go back to the fact that our overall proficiency rates are stuck around the 50% mark. Maybe we need a School Reform 2.0.