School & District Management

Urban NAEP Scores Show Math Scores Up, Reading Mostly Flat

By Christina A. Samuels — December 07, 2011 1 min read
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Eighteen urban districts have shown some growth in math scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress, or NAEP, since the last time it was administered in 2009, but reading scores have remained mostly flat over that time.

The districts, listed here, are part of the Trial Urban District Assessment, which was created to explore the feasibility of using NAEP to report on the progress of individual school systems. NAEP is given to more than 200,000 4th graders and 175,000 8th graders every two years in several subjects, including students enrolled in urban districts. The test has been administered since 1969, though the special sampling for TUDA began in 2002.

My colleague Erik Robelen writes that Atlanta, plagued by a recent cheating scandal on state tests, showed growth on these federally managed assessments, which are considered much less susceptible to tampering. From Erik’s story:

In math, four out of 18 big-city districts posted statistically significant 4th grade gains from 2009 to 2011, while six out of 18 made progress at 8th grade, according to data released today from the Trial Urban District Assessment, which tests representative samples of students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as "the nation's report card." Atlanta was the only district to make math gains at both grade levels since 2009. In reading, meanwhile, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school district was the only participant to see reading gains of statistical significance since 2009, and those were only at the 8th grade level. The longer historical view tells a more hopeful story, however. Nearly all the districts to participate in TUDA since the early 2000s have made gains in both subjects.

If you’re interested in news accounts of the NAEP results from the cities, here’s a sampling of articles from Chicago; Hillsborough County, Fla.; New York; Atlanta; and Miami.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.