“Beating the Odds: An Analysis of Student Performance and Achievement Gaps on State Assessments”
The nation’s urban students posted gains on their states’ reading and mathematics exams in 2007 to continue a trend of improving achievement in the largest public school districts, a report released last week concludes.
The report by the Council of the Great City Schools found that 63 percent of 4th grade students in big-city school districts scored at or above proficiency in math on state tests last year, an increase of 14 percentage points from 2003, when proficiency levels were at 49 percent. For 8th graders, math proficiency in 2007 reached 55 percent, up from 42 percent in 2003.
In reading, gains were more modest, with 60 percent of 4th graders at or above proficiency in 2007, up from 51 percent in 2003. For 8th graders, 51 percent reached proficiency or higher in reading last year, an increase of 8 percentage points since 2003.
This is the eighth annual report on the progress of urban students from the council, a Washington-based advocacy group for 66 of the nation’s largest school districts. The study also includes data from urban districts where students participated in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, a series of exams generally considered to be more rigorous than state tests.
Though proficiency levels on the NAEP, also known as the “nation’s report card,” were not as strong as on state exams, urban students continued to show improvement in reading and math as well.
A version of this article appeared in the April 30, 2008 edition of Education Week