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Statement from Mayor Bowser on the District’s Results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

(Washington, DC) – As results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) come out tonight showing the District as the fastest improving state in the nation and DC Public Schools (DCPS) as the fastest improving urban school district in the nation, Mayor Bowser has released the following statement:

“Just over a decade ago, our community made a commitment to invest in our public schools. Since then, the renaissance of our schools has been the driving force behind the renaissance of our city. More and more families are choosing our public schools because they know that Washington, DC has the nation’s best educators. Across all eight wards, students are engaged in rigorous and joyful lessons and programming; our educators, coaches, and staff are committed to excellence and equity, and it shows in all they do.

“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. 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.”

tests proficiency in fourth and eighth grade reading and math and measures how states and jurisdictions across the nation are closing achievement gaps. On the 2019 assessment, the District showed significant gains in fourth grade math and eighth grade math and reading, making DC one of only two states to show significant progress in three of four subject/grade assessments. The District’s average NAEP scale scores for the fourth grade math assessment increased 3 points between 2017 and 2019, while average scale scores for the eighth grade reading and math assessments both increased 3 points. The District was the only state in the nation to show gains in eighth grade reading from 2017 to 2019, while 31 states showed a decline. Fourth grade reading scores in DC remained consistent with 2017 results, while 17 states showed declines over the two-year period.

The District continues to close the gap with other states and jurisdictions. In fourth grade, the gap narrowed from 28 points in reading and 29 points in math in 2003 to 5 points in both subjects in 2019. In eighth grade, the gap narrowed from 23 points in reading and 33 points in math in 2003 to 12 points in both subjects in 2019. Since 2003, African American and Hispanic eighth graders in DC have completely closed a 12-point gap in math, setting the pace for the nation. Eighth grade students who are economically disadvantaged narrowed the gap from 23 points in 2003 to 9 points in 2019.

The results also show that that gap between African American fourth graders and their white peers has narrowed by 16 points in reading and 13 points in math since 2003; the gap between African American eighth graders and their white peers has narrowed by 12 points in reading and 14 points in math since 2005.

The District’s improved results come as, nationally, fourth grade reading and eighth grade math dropped 1 point and eighth grade reading dropped 3 points; only fourth grade math showed improvements nationally, with a 1 point increase from 2017 to 2019.

These new results also include DCPS’ scores on the TUDA, which specifically gauges math and reading skills for fourth and eighth graders in 27 participating urban school districts. DCPS’ TUDA results show statistically significant gains in three out of four subject/grade assessments. DCPS showed a +4 scale score gain in fourth grade math, +7 scale score gain in eighth grade math, and +5 scale score gain in eighth-grade reading from 2017 to 2019; fourth grade reading remained consistent with 2017 scores. DCPS was the only district that showed statistically significant gains in eighth-grade reading, while 11 jurisdictions showed a statistical decline; DCPS fourth grade math scale score performance now matches that of average large city performance.

NAEP is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics and is the largest nationally representative continuing assessment of what students in the United States know and can do in several subject areas. NAEP is commonly referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” and provides a clear picture of student academic progress over time. The NAEP release highlights statewide results for the District of Columbia that include DCPS students and public charter school students.

Additional information, along with complete results of “The Nation’s Report Card: Reading and Mathematics 2019,” is available for review and can be downloaded from DC’s results will be made available on OSSE’s NAEP page.

Today, at 11:30 a.m., the Mayor will host a press conference at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School to discuss the results in further detail and announce a new homeownership initiative for public school teachers and staff. The Mayor will be joined by Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn, State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang, DCPS Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee, and Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio.