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I LOVE L.A.—AND ATLANTA: Results from NAEP 2009 Trial Urban District Assessment Show Some Large Cities Making Progress, Though Much More Work Is Still Needed

Rating
“Today’s report shows that the reading achievement of students in our largest cities has increased over time.”

Average eighth-grade reading scores for the nation and large cities with populations greater than 250,000 were higher in 2009 than in 2007, but only two of the eleven districts that participated in 2007—Atlanta and Los Angeles—showed an increase since that year, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Atlanta and Los Angeles were also the only two districts that showed an increase in eighth-grade reading scores since 2002, the year of the first reading assessment.

“Today’s report shows that the reading achievement of students in our largest cities has increased over time,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “At the same time, the results also show that cities have significant work to do. The overall scores of cities are lower than the nation, and the achievement gap in the urban districts is larger than in the nation.”

Eighth-grade reading scores were up 5 points in Atlanta since 2007 and up 14 points compared to 2002. In Los Angeles, scores were up 3 points and 7 points, respectively. In all the other districts, the score changes were not considered statistically significant even though six other districts posted gains.

Jurisdiction

Average Reading Score for Eighth Graders: 2007

Average Reading Score for Eighth Graders: 2009

Difference (in points)

National Average

261

262

1

Large City Average

250

252

2

Atlanta

245

250

5

Austin

257

261

4

Boston

254

257

3

Charlotte

260

259

-1

Chicago

250

249

-1

Cleveland

246

242

-4

District of Columbia

241

240

-1

Houston

252

252

0

Los Angeles

240

244

4

New York City

249

252

3

San Diego

250

254

4

 

For 2009, an additional seven cities participated in the TUDA. The additional cities and their eighth-grade average scores are as follows: Fresno (240); Miami-Dade (261); Jefferson County, Kentucky (259); Milwaukee (241); Detroit (232); Baltimore City (245); and Philadelphia (247).

Among the eighteen districts that participated in 2009, the percentages of students who performed at or above the “proficient” level, which indicates competency over challenging subject matter, ranged from 7 percent in Detroit to 30 percent in Austin. In three districts, including the District of Columbia (52 percent), Fresno (52 percent), and Detroit (60 percent), more than 50 percent of students scored below the “basic” level, indicating that they did not have even a partial mastery of knowledge and skills that are considered fundamental.

At the fourth-grade level, four districts—Boston, the District of Columbia, Houston, and New York City—had higher scores in 2009 than in 2007. The remaining seven districts, as well as the national average and large city average, showed no significant change.

Download the complete results at http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_2009/.

Categories:

Assessments

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