The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2007 and The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2007

Trial Urban District Assessment Results at Grades 4 and 8
Institute of Education Sciences
November 2007
and
Trial Urban District Assessment Results at Grades 4 and 8
Institute of Education Sciences
November 2007

Eleven urban districts participated in the fourth reading and math Trial Urban District Assessments (previous administrations were given in 2002, 2003, and 2005). Scores for the eleven participating districts (Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, District of Columbia, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Diego) were compared "to that of public school students in the nation, in large central cities (population over 250,000), and to each other." Overall, the results look impressive. For fourth graders in math:

  • Most of the eleven districts (eight, in fact) improved significantly over 2003 the percentage of students performing at or above the basic and proficient levels.
  • Six of these districts' students performed better than those in large central cities.
  • Four districts improved on their 2005 performance.

The reading results weren't as impressive, but still noteworthy:

  • Five of eleven districts realized significant increases since 2002 in the percentage of students reaching the basic level.
  • Just three districts (Atlanta, Chicago, and the District of Columbia) improved since 2003 on the percentage of students reaching proficient.

Eighth-grade results for both math and reading follow a similar pattern. But the news is hardly all good. While scores were up in both fourth- and eighth-grade math among minority and low-income students, overall they're still well behind the nation as a whole. Nationwide, for instance, 39 percent of fourth graders score proficient or better on the math assessment. In Chicago it's 16 percent. And that's up dramatically from 2003. In fact, five of the eleven tested districts have 20 percent or less of their students at the proficient level. Two districts beat the national average (Austin with 40 percent proficient, and Charlotte with 44), but their scores have been flat since 2003. And reading performance is worse. Among fourth graders, just two districts have seen their scores rise since 2003. Among eighth graders, four districts' scores (Atlanta, Cleveland, D.C., and Houston) are up. But three of them, Atlanta being the exception, are up only at the basic level. There's considerably more to tease out of these two rich reports. You can begin by reading the math report here and the reading report here.

More By Author