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DC Public Schools Continues Momentum as the Fastest Improving Urban School District in the Country

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Fourth-graders make historic improvements in reading and strong gains in math

(Washington, DC) DC Public Schools continues to be the fastest improving urban school district in the country, according to data released today from the 2015 Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).

DC Public Schools (DCPS) students grew by eight points in 4th grade reading over the 2013 test, representing the biggest increase of any school district and the largest increase in the history of the 4th-grade reading test. DCPS students also saw a four-point increase in 4th grade math scores, no change in 8th grade reading scores, and a two-point drop in 8th grade math scores.

“These TUDA results show that we are making the right investments in our schools and in our students,” says Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools. “We still have work to do to ensure all of our students are performing at the highest level. But I am proud of our reading and math results, especially among our 4th graders.”

DCPS continues to improve each year on the TUDA assessment: In 2007, DCPS was last among urban school districts participating in TUDA; this year, DCPS is now ranked 10th out of 21 districts in 4th grade reading, and 11th out of 21 districts in 4th grade math.

“DCPS sealed its standing as the nation’s fastest improving urban school district with these new scores,” noted Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of Great City Schools.

DCPS is driving the state results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and outpacing the charter-school sector. On the 2015 assessment, DCPS’ improvement was double that of charter school students in 4th grade reading, with an increase of eight points compared to four points. In 4th grade math, DCPS saw a four-point increase, while the charter sector saw no change of statistical significance.

 “We are seeing strong results statewide, and DC Public Schools is driving this improvement,” says Chancellor Henderson. “We are seeing increased graduation rates, enrollment numbers, and student satisfaction results. Now we can add another data point on DC Public Schools’ track record of providing students with an excellent education.”

With a focus on long-term improvement, DCPS has made historic gains since 2011, achieving the largest increase of any urban district in 4th grade reading, 4th grade math, and 8th grade reading.

The 2015 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 21 participating urban school districts.