Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


Executive Office of the Mayor
Menu Button

DC Releases 2023 Statewide Assessment Results

Thursday, August 24, 2023

(Washington, DC) –Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) released the results of the District’s statewide assessments in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and math that were taken in spring 2023 by students in grades 3-8 and high school. District students experienced a 2.6 percentage point gain in math and 2.9 percentage point gain in ELA in the 2023 results.

“We are heading into the new school year ready to make sure our young people are connected to all the programs and people that will help them succeed,” said Mayor Bowser. “What we know is that the pandemic had a significant impact on our children and teens, but we also know that with the right supports and with our tremendous educators who are ready to love and challenge students on day one, we can keep students moving in the right direction.”

While students had moderate gains over 2022 results, rates of proficiency remain lower than in 2019, suggesting the interruption of in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be reflected in student achievement. Students did not take statewide assessments in 2020 or 2021, so the 2022 and 2023 results are the only comparisons to pre-COVID levels. The assessments have five performance levels, with level 4 and level 5 indicating a student meets or exceeds expectations for their grade level. Performing at these levels means that students have met the District’s rigorous grade-level academic expectations, indicating they are building necessary skills for success in a wide range of post-graduation options. Level 3 indicates that a student is approaching expectations, while level 2 indicates a student has partially met expectations and level 1 indicates a student did not meet expectations.

“We are encouraged by these results,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “Our high-quality statewide assessments give us the best picture of academic progress and we know that students, teachers and their families have been working extremely hard. While we want to take a moment to celebrate improvement, we also know we have much more work to do.”

Overall, 33.6 percent of District students are meeting or exceeding expectations in ELA and 21.8 percent of students are meeting or exceeding expectations in math. In ELA, elementary school students (grades 3-5) increased 2.8 percentage points since last year, middle school students increased 4.5 percentage points, and high school students increased by just 0.2 percentage points. In math, elementary school students increased 4.2 percentage points, middle school students increased 2.3 percentage points, and high school students remained mostly stable with a 0.2 percentage point-increase.

The 2023 statewide assessments in English language arts and mathematics included the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Multi-State Alternate Assessment. Participation rates were higher than last year across the board, with 96 percent of eligible students participating in ELA assessments and 95.9 percent participating in math. High participation rates ensure that trends are representative of the overall student population. Findings from these data demonstrate both meaningful progress and the need for continuous improvement.

  • All race/ethnicity groups saw increases in math proficiency rates from 2022; most groups also saw an increase in ELA proficiency rates.
  • Economically disadvantaged students – students who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, experience homelessness, or are in the care of Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) – saw a 2.7-percentage point increase in the ELA proficiency rate and a 1.4-percentage point increase in math proficiency rate; students who are not economically disadvantaged saw larger increases.
  • More than half of students with disabilities scored at the lowest level (Level 1) on both the math and ELA assessments.

“These results are a mandate to continue investing in strategies that work for our schools,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. “We’re incredibly grateful to all of our school communities that are working tirelessly in the District’s academic recovery and restoration, and are confident that we’re on the path to build on this progress thanks to their efforts.”

The District continues to fund programs that support students in their recovery from the challenges of the past three years. Nearly $1 billion in federal stimulus funds have been allocated to support multi-year recovery and restoration efforts of our public education and child care sectors through 2024, with additional plans extending beyond that. The majority of these funds are Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds and administered as formula grants to local education agencies, giving them broad discretion in the use of these resources for recovery. Approximately $300 million is allocated to support citywide investments that are led by OSSE. These state-led investments include high-impact tutoring (HIT) in ELA and math, targeted ELA and math training for educators, high-quality instructional materials, the DC Special Education Hub, and mental health supports for students.

OSSE will continue to strengthen and scale recovery investments while also ensuring that they are reaching the students and schools who need them most.​ OSSE-supported HIT programs have already served over 5,200 students and are projected to exceed our 10,000-student goal by the end of fiscal year 2024, as outlined in an OSSE report published earlier this week.

OSSE’s Recovery and Restoration Investment web portal ( highlights federal stimulus spending at the local education agency (LEA) level and demonstrates that the vast majority of funds spent to date have supported LEA-led efforts to accelerate student learning. The web portal also spotlights OSSE's state-led investments across seven strategic focus areas. This resource is part of OSSE’s continued efforts to create transparency and shared understanding around the planned use of OSSE's federal stimulus funds to drive recovery and restoration.

“This year’s improvements are a testament to the resilience of our students and the dedication of DC Public Schools’ educators and staff,” said DC Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “We acknowledge that the road to academic recovery is still long ahead of us, but these gains fuel our commitment to continue striving for excellence in education.”

“These test results show that many students are continuing to improve in our schools,” said Executive Director of the DC Public Charter School Board Dr. Michelle J. Walker-Davis. “However, we need to continue to shine a light on academic performance, particularly for those who made less progress than we had hoped. We will use these results to inform further work on our revised accountability framework.”

Schools will receive individual student reports in September and distribute them to families. OSSE has prepared a suite of resources at to help schools, parents, and teachers understand the assessment and results.

To view the full report, visit the OSSE website: