Delaware’s Education: Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) scores released

This school year the state launched the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS). Students took the exams in the fall, winter and spring, giving educators the opportunity to adjust instruction throughout the year to meet student needs.

On the DCAS reading test, in the lower grades, the increases were generally higher, and as grade level increased, the amount of gain decreased. By year’s end, about 60% of students at each grade (3-10) met or exceeded the standard in reading. About one third of students in each grade scored in the advanced level of reading. The mathematics gains appear to be larger than the reading gains. The gains for grades 3-5 are between 30 and 40%. The gains for grades 6-9 are between 20-25%.

The state’s DCAS science tests, however, showed fewer than half of tested students meeting the standard. In the three grades tested in spring, fewer than 49% of 5th graders demonstrated proficiency. Similarly, fewer than 48% if 8th graders and 40% of 10th graders met the proficient standard.

In September 2010, the State Board of Education adopted a new scoring system that raises the bar for what is considered to be proficient on the exam. This was done to prepare students to compete in a global economy. The state expected an initial drop in student scores this year. The good news is that students performed generally better than pre-test predictions and made substantial score gains during the year.

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