Mayor Vincent C. Gray

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March 22, 2011

OSSE Advises Parents and Community Strategies to Support Students during Upcoming DC CAS 

OSSE Advises Parents and Community Strategies to Support Students during Upcoming DC CAS

(Washington, DC) On Monday, April 4, through Thursday, April 14, District of Columbia Public Schools and public charter schools will administer the Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) to students in Grades 3 through 8 and 10 for Reading and Mathematics; Grades 4, 7, and 10 for Composition; and Grades 5 and 8 for Science. High school students enrolled in Biology are also assessed. The DC CAS is an opportunity for District students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have gained this year. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) encourages all District students to do well on the assessment and to give it their best effort.

To prepare for a successful day of testing, OSSE is urging all parents and community members to ensure that on test day, students:

• Arrive at school on time;
• Eat a healthy breakfast before school; and
• Get a good night’s rest before testing.

If a student is nervous about the test, remind him/her that they have been preparing all year and it is now time to show everyone what has been learned.

Background on the DC CAS
The DC CAS is a “standards-based” assessment, which measures what children should know and be able to do in relation to the DC Learning Standards. For certain subjects, the DC CAS utilizes multiple-choice questions; for other subjects, it allows students to produce their own short and extended responses. DC CAS results can be used by teachers, parents, and schools to:
• Develop lesson plans that support effective instruction for all students;
• Evaluate whether the goals of the content standards are being met; and
• Monitor children’s educational progress.

OSSE engages in a 12-month planning process to design and develop the assessment and subsequent Test Security Guidelines. OSSE also trains a test administrator at each school site across the District. For this year’s testing administration, OSSE added a security seal to the outside of the test booklet. All these measures ensure the results are valid and reliable and are a true measure of what a student knows and is able to do. [OVER]

Further information about the DC CAS can be found on the CTB/McGraw Hill website.

The Test Security Guidelines can be found at the link below: