The federal government requires that all students’ academic performance be measured. DC satisfies this requirement by offering the DC Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS). DC CAS tests are designed to measure the academic proficiency of DC students relative to their mastery of the DC Content Standards.
DC CAS is aligned to English/language arts, mathematics, science, and health standards. Based on performance, each student is classified as performing at one of four performance levels: advanced, proficient, basic, or below basic.
DC CAS tests are administered in the spring of each school year. Reading and mathematics tests have been operational since 2006 and are administered to students in grades 2 - 10.
The DC CAS–Alt was designed for the small percentage of the total school population for whom traditional assessments, even with accommodations, are an inappropriate measure of progress. The DC CAS-Alt is based on alternate achievement standards and is designed for those students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in the regular assessment even when accommodations are provided. This is done by assembling a portfolio of student work using a limited number of prioritized grade-level content standards and predetermined scoring criteria.
As of 2013, the reading, writing and math DC CAS assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. In 2014-2015 School Year, DC will completely transition to Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment.