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The Nation's Report Card: 
Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2011

December 2011

Author: National Center for Education Statistics

PDF Download The Nation's Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2011 PDF for viewing and printing (42096K PDF)


Cover image of The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2011 report.

Executive Summary

No significant change in scores for most districts compared to 2009

Both fourth- and eighth-graders in five districts score higher than the average for large cities in 2011

Compared to large cities, scores for lower-income students are higher in six districts at grade 4 and four districts at grade 8

Three districts participated in the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment for the first time in 2011

Representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade public school students from 21 urban districts participated in the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading. Eighteen of the districts participating in the 2011 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) participated in earlier assessment years, while three districts participated for the first time in 2011. Between 900 and 2,700 students in each district were assessed at grades 4 and 8.

No significant change in scores for most districts compared to 2009

At grade 4, average reading scores did not change significantly from 2009 to 2011 for public school students in the nation, large cities, or any of the 18 urban districts that participated in both years. In comparison to 2002, scores were higher in 2011 for all six of the districts that participated in both years, as well as for large cities and the nation.

At grade 8, average reading scores were higher in 2011 than in 2009 for public school students in the nation and large cities. Charlotte was the only one of the 18 districts participating in both years to have a higher score in 2011 than in 2009. In comparison to 2002, scores were higher in 2011 for three of the five districts that participated in both years, as well as for large cities, even though there was no significant change in the score for the nation.

Changes in 2011 NAEP reading average scores from 2002 and 2009 for fourth- and eighth-grade public school students, by jurisdiction


Jurisdiction Grade 4
From 2002
Grade 4
From 2009
Grade 8
From 2002
Grade 8
From 2009
Nation Higher in 2011 by 3 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference that rounds to zero score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 1 score point. Higher in 2011 by 1 score point.
Large city1 Higher in 2011 by 9 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 1 score point. Higher in 2011 by 4 score points. Higher in 2011 by 2 score points.
Atlanta Higher in 2011 by 16 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 2 score points. Higher in 2011 by 17 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 3 score points.
Austin Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 3 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference that rounds to zero score points.
Baltimore City Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 1 score point. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 1 score point.
Boston Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 2 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 3 score points.
Charlotte Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference that rounds to zero score points. Higher in 2011 by 5 score points.
Chicago Higher in 2011 by 10 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 1 score point. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 4 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 4 score points.
Cleveland Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 1 score point. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 2 score points.
Detroit Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 4 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 4 score points.
District of Columbia (DCPS) Higher in 2011 by 11 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 2 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 3 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 3 score points.
Fresno Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 3 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 2 score points.
Houston Higher in 2011 by 7 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 2 score points. Higher in 2011 by 4 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 1 score point.
Jefferson County (KY) Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 3 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 1 score point.
Los Angeles Higher in 2011 by 10 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 3 score points. Higher in 2011 by 9 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 2 score points.
Miami-Dade Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference that rounds to zero score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 1 score point.
Milwaukee Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 1 score point. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of minus 3 score points.
New York City Higher in 2011 by 10 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference that rounds to zero score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 2 score points.
Philadelphia Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 4 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference that rounds to zero score points.
San Diego Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 3 score points. Not significantly different from 2011 with a numerical difference of 2 score points.

Image of upward arrow. Higher in 2011.
Image of a diamond shape. Not significantly different from 2011.
— District did not participate or did not meet minimum participation guidelines for reporting.
# Rounds to zero.
1 Large city includes students from all cities in the nation with populations of 250,000 or more including the participating districts.
NOTE: Beginning in 2009, results for charter schools are excluded from the TUDA results if they are not included in the school district’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report to the U.S. Department of Education. The score-point differences appear within each symbol and are based on the differences between unrounded average scores. A score-point difference preceded by a minus sign (-) indicates that the score was numerically lower in 2011. DCPS = District of Columbia Public Schools.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2002, 2009, and 2011 Reading Assessments.

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Both fourth- and eighth-graders in five districts score higher than the average for large cities in 2011

Among the 21 urban districts that participated in the 2011 reading assessment, scores for both fourth- and eighth-graders in 5 districts were higher than the scores for public school students attending schools in large cities (i.e., cities with populations of 250,000 or more) overall. Fourth- and eighth-graders in 9 districts scored lower than students in large cities.

Differences in average reading scores for public school students
in the districts compared to the scores for large cities in 2011
  At both grades At grade 4 only At grade 8 only
Higher than
large cities
Austin
Charlotte
Hillsborough County (FL)
Jefferson County
   (Louisville, KY)
Miami-Dade
Boston
New York City
San Diego
No jurisdictions
Lower than
large cities
Baltimore City
Cleveland
Dallas
Detroit
District of Columbia
   (DCPS)
Fresno
Los Angeles
Milwaukee
Philadelphia
Chicago Houston
Scores for fourth- and eighth-graders in Albuquerque and Atlanta were not significantly different from the scores for students in large cities.

NOTE: DCPS = District of Columbia Public Schools. 

Compared to large cities, scores for lower-income students are higher in six districts at grade 4 and four districts at grade 8

When comparing the results for urban districts to results for the nation and large cities, it is important to consider how the demographics of the jurisdictions are different. For example, large cities and participating urban districts differ from the nation in the proportion of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program (an indicator of lower family income). The percentages of students eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch (lower-income students) in the nation in 2011 were 52 percent at grade 4 and 48 percent at grade 8; the percentages of lower-income students in the districts ranged from 51 percent to 100 percent across the two grades.

At grade 4, average scores for both higher- and lower-income students in Charlotte, Hillsborough County, Jefferson County, Miami-Dade, and New York City were higher than the scores for their peers in large cities. The score for lower-income students in Boston was also higher than the score for lower-income students in large cities, although the score for higher-income students in the district was not significantly different from the score for large cities. But not all of the districts where scores for lower-income students were higher than the score for large cities had a smaller score gap between the two groups. The score gap between higher- and lower-income students in Miami-Dade was smaller than the score gap for large cities, while the gaps in the other districts were not significantly different from the gap for large cities.

At grade 8, average scores for both higher- and lower-income students in Charlotte and Hillsborough County were higher than the scores for their peers in large cities. Scores for lower-income students in Miami-Dade and New York City were also higher than the score for lower-income students in large cities, although the scores for higher-income students in those districts were not significantly different from large cities. In all four of the districts, the score gaps between higher- and lower-income students were not significantly different from the gap for large cities.

Comparison of district and large city NAEP reading average scores and score gaps for fourth- and eighth-grade public school students, by family income and jurisdiction: 2011


Jurisdiction Grade 4
higher
income
Grade 4
lower
income
Grade 4
score
gap
Grade 8
higher
income
Grade 8
lower
income
Grade 8
score
gap
Nation 234 207 27 275 251 23
Large city1 232 204 28 271 248 23
Albuquerque

No significant between the district and large city.

Lower average score than large city.

No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Atlanta

Higher average score than large city.

No significant between the district and large city.

Larger No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Austin Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. Larger Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. Larger
Baltimore City Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Boston No significant between the district and large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Charlotte Higher average score than large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. Higher average score than large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Chicago No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Cleveland Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city.
Dallas No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Detroit Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city. Smaller
District of Columbia (DCPS) No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. Larger Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city. Larger
Fresno No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. Larger No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. Larger
Hillsborough County (FL) Higher average score than large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. Higher average score than large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Houston Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Jefferson County (KY) Higher average score than large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Los Angeles No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Miami-Dade Higher average score than large city. Higher average score than large city. Smaller No significant between the district and large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Milwaukee Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city.
New York City Higher average score than large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city.
Philadelphia Lower average score than large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. Lower average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city.
San Diego Higher average score than large city. No significant between the district and large city. Larger No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city. No significant between the district and large city.

Image of upward arrow. Higher average score than large city.
Image of a downward arrow. Lower average score than large city.
Image of a diamond shape. No significant difference between the district and large city.
‡ Reporting standards not met. Sample size insufficient to permit a reliable estimate.
1 Large city includes students from all cities in the nation with populations of 250,000 or more including the participating districts.
NOTE: In NAEP, lower-income students are students identified as eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Higher-income students are not eligible for NSLP. Score gaps are calculated based on differences between unrounded average scores. DCPS = District of Columbia Public Schools.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 Reading Assessment.

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Three districts participated in the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment for the first time in 2011

  • Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Dallas Independent School District
  • Hillsborough County (FL) Public Schools

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Download the complete report in a PDF file for viewing and printing:

PDF The Nation's Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2011 report PDF (42096K PDF)

NCES 2012-455  Ordering information


Suggested Citation
National Center for Education Statistics (2011). The Nation's Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2011 (NCES 2012–455). 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 2011 Reading assessment on the Nation's Report Card website.

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Last updated 02 December 2011 (RH)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
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