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The Nation's Report Card: 
Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2007

November 2007

Authors: Anthony D. Lutkus, Wendy S. Grigg, and Patricia L. Donahue

Download sections of the report (or the complete report) in a PDF file for viewing and printing.


Image of the cover of the 2007 TUDA Reading report card

Executive Summary

Changes in NAEP Reading Scores

Context for Urban District Results

Gains Made for Racial/Ethnic Groups

Lower-Income Students in Some Districts Outperform Peers in Nation

Performance in Many Districts Higher Than or Similar to Large Central Cities

Reading achievement held steady or improved for most districts. At grade 4, the majority of the districts that participated in 2002 had improved scores in 2007. At grade 8, several districts had increases compared with 2005.

The results from the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) make it possible to compare the performance of students in participating urban school districts to that of public school students in the nation, in large central cities (population over 250,000), and to each other.

About 37,000 fourth- and eighth-graders from the following 11 urban districts (Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, District of Columbia, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Diego) participated in the fourth reading Trial Urban District Assessment in 2007. Six districts at grade 4 and five districts at grade 8 participated in 2002, ten districts participated in 2003, and eleven in 2005.

At grade 4

  • Four districts showed score increases compared with 2002, two districts had higher average scores compared with 2005, and one district had a lower average score in 2007 compared with 2005.
  • Five districts improved their 2007 percentages at or above Basic, and three districts improved their percentages at or above Proficient compared with 2002.

At grade 8

  • Two districts showed increases compared with 2002, and four districts had higher average scores compared with 2005.
  • Two districts improved their 2007 percentages at or above Basic compared with 2002, and two districts improved their percentages at or above Basic compared with 2005.

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Changes in NAEP Reading Scores

 District Grade 4 Grade 8
Since
2002
Since
2005
Since
2002
Since
2005
Atlanta
Up
Up
Up
Up
Austin
Did not participate
No significant difference
Did not participate
No significant difference
Boston
Did not participate
No significant difference
Did not participate
No significant difference
Charlotte
Did not participate
No significant difference
Did not participate
No significant difference
Chicago
Up
No significant difference
No significant difference
No significant difference
Cleveland
Did not participate
No significant difference
Did not participate
Up
District of Columbia
Up
Up
No significant difference
Up
Houston
No significant difference
Lower
No significant difference
Up
Los Angeles
No significant difference
No significant difference
Up
No significant difference
New York City
Up
No significant difference
Reporting standards not met.
No significant difference
San Diego
Did not participate
No significant difference
Did not participate
No significant difference

Up Indicates the score was higher in 2007.
Lower Indicates the score was lower in 2007.
No significant difference Indicates there was no significant change in the score in 2007.
Reporting standards not met. Reporting standards not met. Sample size was insufficient to permit a reliable estimate for New York City in 2002.
Did not participate District did not participate in 2002.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2007 Trial Urban District Reading Assessment.

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Context for Urban District Results

It is important to examine the results for each of the districts by race/ethnicity and family income status. There is generally a higher concentration of minority (races other than White) and lower-income families in these urban districts than in the nation as a whole.

For example, Black and Hispanic students made up about 37 percent of fourth-graders in the nation, but between 55 and 93 percent of the fourth-graders across the 11 districts. At grade 8, between 47 and 100 percent of students in each of the participating districts were eligible for the National School Lunch Program (an indicator of poverty) in 2007, compared to 40 percent of eighth-graders nationally.

In many cases, when scores for only Black, Hispanic, or lower-income students in the districts are compared with their peers nationally, students in the districts score comparably or higher. Additionally, over time these student groups are making gains.

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Gains Made for Racial/Ethnic Groups

At grade 4, compared with 2002 for the six participating districts, scores were higher for

  • White students in one district, Black students in four districts, and Hispanic students in two districts, and
  • all three racial/ethnic groups in one of the districts.

At grade 8, compared with 2002 for the five participating districts, scores were higher for

  • Black students in one district and Hispanic students in one district.

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Lower-Income Students in Some Districts Outperform Peers in Nation

When results for only lower-income students in 2007 were compared at grade 4

  • four districts had scores that were higher than or not significantly different from the score for lower-income students in the nation, and
  • seven districts scored lower.

When only scores for lower-income students were compared at grade 8

  • six districts had scores that were not significantly different from the score for lower-income students in the nation, and
  • five districts scored lower.

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Performance in Many Districts Higher Than or Similar to Large Central Cities

In 2007, fourth-graders in Austin, Charlotte, and New York City scored higher on average than students in large central cities, while those in Chicago, Cleveland, the District of Columbia, and Los Angeles scored lower. Scores for fourth-graders in the other four districts were not significantly different from the score for students in large central cities.

Eighth-graders in Austin and Charlotte scored higher on average in 2007 than students in large central cities, while students in Atlanta, the District of Columbia, and Los Angeles scored lower. Scores for eighth-graders in the other six districts were not significantly different from the score for students in large central cities.

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Download sections of the report (or the complete report) in a PDF file for viewing and printing:

NCES 2008-455 Ordering information

Suggested Citation
Lutkus, A., Grigg, W., and Donahue, P. (2007). The Nation’s Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2007 (NCES 2008-455). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

For more information, see the results of the 2007 TUDA Reading assessment on the Nation's Report Card website.

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Last updated 05 November 2007 (RF)

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