DCAS Results: On Track, But More to Do
Last year, our DCAS results showed our students making historic and dramatic gains in proficiency. This year, our DCAS results show that Delaware still has more work to do.
Presented earlier today at the monthly State Board of Education meeting, the preliminary results show that 72% of our students are proficient in reading and 70% are in math. Overall this represents a slight decrease from the previous year, when 73% of students were proficient in both subjects.
As a whole, the results present a mixed picture. On the one hand, the data shows that we have largely sustained the growth we have made in recent years, with some indicators suggesting we’re continuing to make progress in certain areas. On the other hand, it is clear that there is much more work to be done. According to our ESEA waiver, our target is 82% proficiency in both reading and math by 2017. We met our interim statewide targets for 2012-13 for all subgroups except English Language Learners and Students with disabilities, but we need to go back to seeing gains next year and the years following if we are going to meet these goals.
While the overall results were not as positive as many had hoped, there are some bright spots worth noting:
- In reading, the proportion of students scoring at an “advanced” level (the highest on the assessment’s 4-point scale) increased two percentage points.
- In both reading and math, the proportion of students meeting their growth targets (a measure that represents a year’s worth of learning) increased slightly.
- Of the ten Partnership Zone (PZ) schools (schools designated as the lowest performing in the state), eight have made gains in reading and six in math since implementing turnaround strategies. Several of these gains have been in the double digits, suggesting that for the majority of these schools, the reforms have had a significant impact.
At the presentation, state officials said they planned to delve deeper into the data in coming months, working with superintendents and school leaders to unearth and address the challenges facing our students. In the meantime, we will do our own analysis of the data so be sure to check back in the coming weeks to catch any additional insights we uncover.