November 07, 2013

Chancellor Henderson: DC is Showing the Nation What is Possible 

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Contact: Melissa Salmanowitz | 202.535.1096

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District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson issued the following statement today after the National Assessment Governing Board released the results from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card. DC students made tremendous growth from 2011 to 2013. 4th grade reading went up 5 points, 4th grade math went up 7 points, 8th grade reading went up 6 points, and 8th grade math went up 5 points, all compared to only 1 to 2 point growth in the nation. DC and Tennessee saw the largest growth of any other state in the nation from 2011 to 2013.

“DC is showing the nation that when you embrace higher expectations for teachers and for students, they rise to the challenge. This work is difficult and it takes time, but our breakthrough gains demonstrate that the reforms we have put in place are working, and our students are making great progress.

“I am confident that the approach we have taken to ensure great teaching and high quality content is key to our success. I am so proud every single day of our students and our educators. When you walk into our schools, you see a dramatically different classroom then you would have seen several years ago. Our teaching force improves every single year. We have been relentlessly focused on making sure that there's a highly effective teacher in every single classroom, and a highly effective school leader in every single building.  And we’ve been supporting them and will continue to do so, – through subject-specific coaching and training, collaborative planning, instructional rounds where they observe other teachers, norming of student work, and many of other developmental activities. Our hope is to help educators be the best they can be, so that they can help their students be the best they can be.

“We are also very proud of the significant investment we’ve made in making sure that what students learn is rigorous—in other words, that the content challenges them to grow and prepares them for the future from an early age. By setting high standards, we make sure that students can read complicated, real life texts; can analyze and evaluate the things that they read; and can solve practical, challenging math problems.

“The results today reinforce what other indicators have shown – our work every day in our schools is leading to greater student success. And while we are not yet where we ultimately need to be, I am proud of our growth and our progress, and am excited about what is yet to come.”

A fact sheet about DC’s progress is available here. For more information about the NAEP, click here.

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