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Students in big-city schools show gains in latest NAEP 'report card'

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) National Report Card shows clear and positive trend lines for big-city schools, though the progress has been slow. 

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Students in America’s largest cities are making gains in math, in many cases faster than students in the nation as a whole.

Reading scores in those large cities – just as in the nation – have largely remained flat for the past two years.

And in some cities – including Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and Houston – students have made particularly striking gains over the past eight years, while in other cities progress has lagged.

Most notably, the gap between national scores and large-city scores is narrowing.

That’s the good news in the latest report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), better known as the Nation’s Report Card.

The release Wednesday provided detailed scores for students in 21 large cities – a voluntary subset that participates in NAEP’s Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Ten of those cities – Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, New York, Chicago, San Diego, Charlotte, N.C., Boston, and Cleveland – have participated at least since 2003, giving a decent picture of how their students have fared in that time.


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