Commentary | Education

Release of DC-CAS Proficiency Scores Affirms Need for Transparency, Change of Policy Strategy

The 2014 DC-CAS proficiency scores released yesterday confirm concerns voiced two weeks ago by the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education. Small average gains in math proficiency rates, and basically flat reading scores, which mask even smaller gains among disadvantaged subgroups, as well as actual losses in a few cases, indicate that policies advanced by former Chancellor Michelle Rhee and current Chancellor Kaya Henderson have not benefitted most students and have exacerbated disadvantage for low-income, minority, and English Language Learner students. Moreover, despite its promises to be more transparent, the district again released only cut scores, and not the raw or scale scores upon which they are based—cut scores have been found to not be reliable measures of student knowledge and growth, and to be inconsistent from year to year.

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