District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced today a new task force to ensure DCPS is using assessments in the smartest way possible, by minimizing student time and stress related to testing and maximizing how DCPS uses tests to improve student learning.
“I have heard from parents across the district that their students worry about tests, but they aren’t sure that DCPS is using tests to help their students learn,” said Henderson. “I’ve put together a task force to determine how we can do testing better, to help ensure that we have schools where testing and accountability do not take away from our students love of learning.”
Currently, DCPS students take a variety of assessments throughout the year, including the end of the year DC CAS, Paced Interim Assessments (PIA) and additional literacy and math assessments. The task force will review current assessments to ensure that the assessments used serve students, teachers, principals, and parents well.
There are 27 participants on the task force, representing a variety of DCPS offices, instructional superintendents, principals, teachers, instructional coaches and content specialists. The task force will work with parents, school-based personnel, experts, and students to make sure they gain a broad perspective on how testing is perceived and how it is used in our schools.
The first phase of work began last week. Over the course of the next few months, the task force will meet regularly and develop the first set of recommendations to present to Chancellor Henderson. When completed, DCPS will share the results with students and families and make the information available to the public on the DCPS website.