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DC Public Schools Continues to be the Fastest Improving Urban School District

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
DCPS Shows Steady Gains on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), the “Nation’s Report Card,” for Tenth Year, and Outpaced Other Urban School Districts in Three of Four Categories

(Washington, DC) According to data released today from the 2019 Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA), DC Public Schools (DCPS) continues to be the nation’s fastest improving urban school district. The 2019 Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) measures math and reading skills for 4th and 8th graders by using the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also referred to as the “nation’s report card,” which tracks student achievement over time. 

“The NAEP/TUDA results are one more example of what our community can accomplish when we work together to create citywide solutions to citywide challenges,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Going forward, we will continue to invest in and prioritize our schools, our teachers and staff, and, above all, our students. In doing so, we can close the achievement gap, remain a national model for educational progress, and ensure every student is prepared for college, career, and life.”

Over the past 10 years, DCPS has seen more growth than any other urban school district in three out of the four categories measured – 4th grade reading, 4th grade math, and 8th grade math. DCPS is also the second fastest improving urban school district in 8th grade reading. Since 2009, DCPS has increased the percent of students scoring proficient in every grade and subject, and decreased the percent of students scoring below basic.

“I would like to thank our educators and staff for the work they do every day to provide our more than 51,000 students with a high-quality education,” said DCPS Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “From PARCC to NAEP, our students continue to demonstrate tremendous growth, and as we celebrate their achievements, my focus will be on the work we still need to do to close the opportunity gap.”

Over the last decade, DCPS students have grown by 11 points in 4th grade reading and 15 points in 4th grade math. During that same period, DCPS 8th graders have grown by 11 points in reading and 18 points in math. DCPS’ performance in reading and math showed significant gains from 2017 to 2019. DCPS students grew by 5 points in 8th grade reading and 7 points in 8th grade math over the 2017 test. DCPS students also saw a slight increase of one point in 4th grade reading and an increase of 4 points in 4th grade math.

NAEP TUDA Reading Scale Score Trends

NAEP TUDA Math Scale Score Trends

Since 2009, the performance of students receiving special education services has substantially improved in both subject areas and grade levels, increasing nearly 29 points in 4th grade reading, 21 points in 8th grade reading, and 37 points in 8th grade math.

“Once again, DCPS had outpaced their colleagues across the country in the gains they are making in math and reading,” said Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools. “The district is making substantial progress and attracting a more diverse student body.”

Earlier this year, DCPS also saw growth on the 2019 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The number of DCPS students scoring at a Level 4 or 5 increased by 4.9 percentage points in English language arts (ELA) and 1.9 percentage points in math in 2019, outpacing the state average. This growth is due in part to DCPS school leaders and educators continuing to focus on students’ academic and social emotional development, increased supports for English learners and students with disabilities, and high-quality teacher professional development with a focus on collaboration and data analysis.

At an event today with Mayor Bowser at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School in Ward 6, Chancellor Ferebee thanked DCPS teachers for their contributions to DCPS and the continued progress DCPS students are making. To ensure more teachers are able to both live and work in the city they serve, they announced the launch of Landed, a new option to help our district’s educators become homeowners in Washington, DC.


About the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA)

The 2019 Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) specifically gauges math and reading skills for 4th and 8th graders by using the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 27 participating urban school districts.

See the 2019 results for DC Public Schools on the Trial Urban District Assessment[PDF]

See the 2017 results for DC Public Schools on the Trial Urban District Assessment.

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