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Atlanta Public Schools shows gains in standardized test
by Staff Reports
December 20, 2013 03:55 PM | 2393 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Over a 10-year period, Atlanta Public Schools fourth- and eighth-graders have demonstrated consistent and significant improvement compared to all participating Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) school districts in the nation, the district announced Wednesday in a news release.

From 2003-13, the district’s students posted the highest growth in Grade 4 reading and Grade 8 math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests. Students demonstrated the second highest growth in Grade 4 math. The district’s students also tied with Los Angeles for the highest growth in Grade 8 reading. The results of the 2013 tests released Wednesday also show steady improvement between 2011 and 2013.

Since 2003, the district’s fourth-grade reading scores increased 18 points, the highest of all TUDA districts. Student performance grew from 37 percent testing at or above basic to 57 percent, which represents a 20 percent increase. The district’s eighth-graders gained 15 points on the reading test over the 10-year period, which tied the district with one other district for the highest of all TUDA districts. Student performance grew from 31 percent testing at or above basic to 54 percent, which shows a 23 percent increase.

In mathematics, the district’s eighth-graders gained 23 points on the NAEP tests since 2003, the highest of all TUDA districts. The district went from 30 percent of students testing at or above basic in 2003 to 54 percent in 2013, a 24 percent increase. The district's fourth-grade students gained 17 points in mathematics for the same period, the second highest of all TUDA districts. In 2003, 50 percent of fourth-grade math students tested at or above basic. This number escalated to 73 percent in 2013, which represented an increase of 22 percent. Additionally, 42 percent of the district’s eighth-graders tested at or above basic in reading in 2002. This number increased to 63 percent, which shows a 21 percent increase.

District Superintendent Erroll Davis attributed the steady increase in NAEP scores to the district’s consistent focus on instructional and organizational improvements.

“What you see over this 10-year period is a commitment to advancing students consistently and with fidelity,” he said. “The district has invested heavily in the area of standards-based learning, which includes, most recently, the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. School leaders embraced professional learning communities for teachers and administrators while also providing quality professional development in all subject areas. Coupled with the recent announcement of an 8 percent increase in our graduation rate and 2.5 percent decrease in the district’s dropout rate, our future looks bright.”

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