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Students in the public schools of Washington DC are required to participate in the DC Comprehensive Assessment Systems tests of Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science and Biology. These tests begin for students in grade 3 and continue through grade 8. Students are then required to take the assessments again during high school.
The results can be used in a variety of ways. Students are able to recognize areas of proficiency and see where they need to work on improving their abilities. Teachers will be able to devise instructional strategies for individual students and whole classes based on the assessment results. When students are under-performing teachers and families can use the results of the assessments to focus in on creating a plan for remedial work.
The DC Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) Tests are given during a two week testing window in April. The tests are usually given between 9 am and 12 pm during the testing period. Students in grades 3-8 and 10 take the DC CAS in Reading and Mathematics. Students in grades 4, 7 and 10 will also take a DC CAS in Writing. Students in grades 5 and 8 will take the DC CAS in Science. High school students taking biology will take a DC CAS in Biology.
Students will receive results that provide a proficiency level report. There are four proficiency levels that a student may achieve in each subject: Advanced, Proficient, Basic and Below Basic. These results do not factor into report card grades; they are performance indicators meant to measure what students know and can do and the educational progress being made.