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DC Action for Children is a nonprofit, nonpartisan child and youth advocacy organization dedicated to using research, data, and a lens toward race equity to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential.

DC Action is the home of DC KIDS COUNT, the primary source for data on conditions and outcomes for kids’ well-being. DC Action's collaborative advocacy campaigns empower young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.


What's New?


What does "proficient" on the DC CAS really mean?

A report released today by the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) highlights vastly differing definitions of state proficiency standards, using a common benchmark called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). According to the report – which examines the wide range of state standards and how each state matches up to the NAEP – what D.C. considers to be...

Test scores reflect deep disparities by ward

Last month, OSSE released the 2010-11 D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) aggregate results. Scores were reported for elementary and secondary schools (as a whole) in both reading and math.DC Action took a look at the results and our analysis is presented in this new data snapshot: D.C. Student Test Scores Show Uneven Progress. Our major takeaways are:Both D.C. Public...

Playing chicken with our future

Watching President Obama's television address and the Republican response from House Speaker John Boehner last night, it was hard to forget that I wasn't watching a brilliant bit of political satire on "The Daily Show," but a real life crisis unfolding. The fact that the world's richest country is dancing on the brink of defaulting on our debt is hard...

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- and Kickball

Yesterday, a couple of us attended an event at the Reagan Building titled “Business in Education: Avoiding a Skills Gap.” The packed auditorium was filled with leaders in business and education who had gathered to discuss the steps we need to take to ensure our children are prepared to enter a globally competitive workforce.This is a familiar concern. As our...

How rigid is the IMPACT bell curve?

On Friday, DCPS announced performance ratings for employees under the IMPACT evaluation system, now two years old.Most of the headlines have surrounded the firings of 413 employees (288 for poor performance), but little has been said about the distribution of those scores.We compared the ratings distribution of this year to last year, noticing something very interesting. No, look again, there...

DCPS students show modest gains on CAS tests

On Friday, in a room full of members of the education community, press and students of the Hospitality High School, the results of the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) were announced. The anticipation was thick, with reporters jostling to get their questions answered. DCPS teachers will be evaluated in part based on how their students scored.I left...

Assessing the IMPACT on teaching

Tomorrow at a morning news conference Mayor Gray will announce the DC CAS (Comprehensive Assessment System) test results for DC Public Schools and public charter schools. Every year students in grades 3-8 and 10 take the standardized CAS tests to measure their learning against D.C.'s learning standards. Let's just say the scores are highly anticipated -- the results will be...

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We need you.

Despite a booming economy, the District has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country, with more than one quarter of children and youth living in families struggling to make ends meet. Let's work together to break down structural barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential.  Join Us!