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DC Public Schools Maintains Reading Progress on First National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) Administered Since COVID-19 Pandemic Began

Monday, October 24, 2022


CONTACT: Enrique Gutierrez (DCPS) – (202) 709-2608; [email protected]

“Nation’s Report Card” data identifies trends around DCPS’ acceleration strategies and commitment to close the educational opportunity gap

(Washington, DC) — According to data released today in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), DC Public Schools students in grades 4 and 8 maintained achievement gains in reading and saw changes in both grades’ math scores consistent with nationwide learning trends due to COVID-19. This was the first time the “nation’s report card” was administered since the pandemic began.

In DCPS Grade 4 and Grade 8 Math, there was a statistically significant change in average scale scores (-11 and -12 score decrease, respectively) from 2019 to 2022. In reading, DCPS had no statistically significant change on Grade 4 or Grade 8 average scale score from 2019 to 2022. When looking at NAEP scores since 2009, DCPS saw the highest percentage of students in Grade 4 Reading scoring proficient or advanced this year, a testament to the district’s investment in early literacy.

New data from the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) that uses the NAEP and lets DC Public Schools know how its progress compares to other urban school districts is also available today. TUDA data for 2022 demonstrates that DCPS is maintaining its trajectory as a rapidly improving urban school district, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a shift to distance learning that spanned two school years. DCPS remains in the top tier of student progress among urban school districts, especially in 4th and 8th Grade Reading.

"While we are seeing long-term gains in student achievement, this data snapshot of student learning during COVID-19, demonstrates we must continue our whole child approach to our acceleration strategies," said DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee. "We know that students need to have their social-emotional needs met and they need strong relationships with peers and adults, in order to engage with deep, rigorous academic content."

See the 2022 results for DC Public Schools on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). 


“Sustaining achievement in any grade or subject in the face of a global crisis is no easy feat and is a testament to the district’s academic continuity planning during the crisis, as well as their proactive recovery efforts when schools reopened,” said Dr. Raymond C. Hart, Executive Director of the Council of the Great City Schools.

NAEP / TUDA data reveals promising trends around the impact of DCPS’ COVID-19 recovery efforts that include tiered supports such as acceleration academies and high-impact tutoring. Yet, large opportunity gaps persist among Black, Hispanic, and White students across the four categories measured.

This school year, DCPS is implementing multi-pronged instructional and whole-child strategies to train educators, provide targeted student supports and interventions, and expand enrichment opportunities to mitigate the effects of COVID on student outcomes.

  • Early Literacy - Elementary Schools will continue to reinforce instruction grounded in the Science of Reading.​
  • Secondary Math - Grades 6 to Algebra II students will learn using a new, highly rated curriculum called Illustrative Mathematics.​
  • School-specific acceleration - Provided over $6M to 85 schools that needed additional funds to continue programs from last year.
  • Tiered Supports - Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) ensure all students have access to a supportive learning environment in which they can thrive.​
  • Robust, weekly data analysis - All schools will receive training on how to leverage weekly data meetings to identify areas of strengths and areas in need of support for students and plan responsive whole and small group instruction that supports students to meet the grade level standards.

For more updates on DCPS progress, follow @DCPublicSchools on social media.

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