Press Releases

News from EPI Education Scholar Raises Concerns Regarding DCPS Claims of Gains in Student Proficiency

Within the next few weeks, the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and the Office of the State Superintendent for the District of Columbia (OSSE) are expected to release selected data from the 2014 DC Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) that they will likely assert demonstrate an increase in student proficiency. However, a new memorandum from the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education (BBA) explains why these gains are likely to be exaggerated and, in some cases, non-existent and how lack of data transparency, combined with cherry-picking specific numbers, has enabled DCPS and OSSE to paint an inaccurate picture of progress. In Concerns Regarding DCPS/OSSE Claims of Gains in Student Proficiency, Elaine Weiss, national coordinator of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, provides some of the more critical data points, backed by charts, figures, and sources, as well as a set of key questions to ask when the public release takes place.

This memo will be followed by a comprehensive, fully-sourced report after all the 2014 data are made available. It illustrates, via an example in a high-profile district, the types of conflicts and problems that inevitably arise when undue pressure is put on student standardized tests. The goal is to shed light on the consequences of poorly conceived federal policies, misguided philanthropic contributions, and other pressures to spur a balanced and thoughtful discussion of more effective strategies that would boost all students and their communities, rather than sustaining and exacerbating existing disparities.

Weiss will discuss these findings in a press call today at 11:00 am ET.

To RSVP, email Donte Donald at

What: Press call on real vs. claimed achievement trends among DCPS students
Who: Elaine Weiss, national coordinator of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education
When: Today at 11:00 a.m. ET
Call-in number: 1-800-311-9403
Passcode: 960316