City Desk

D.C. Students Improve More on Math, Reading than National Average

If the Nation's Report Card is an apt indicator of student progress, then the District's public school students are improving at a higher rate than their national counterparts, though their achievement still lags behind the national average.

The results of the National Assessment of Education Progress, often referred to as the Nation's Report Card, were released today, and D.C. students made significant gains in math and reading. The test assesses fourth- and eighth-graders every other year and is based on a 500-point scale.

D.C. fourth-graders increased by seven points in math and scored an average of 229 in 2013. The national average was 241 points; in 2011, it was 240. Eighth-graders scored 265 points on the math assessment—a five-point increase since 2011. The national average for eighth-graders was 284, compared to 283 in 2011.

In reading, D.C. fourth-graders posted a five-point gain, too, scoring 206 in 2013. The national average was 221, up just one point from 2011. D.C. eighth-graders scored 248 points in reading, up six points since 2011. The national average for eighth-graders was 266, just a two-point increase since 2011.

In all, D.C. and Tennessee improved more than any other state this year. (It should be noted that D.C.'s net average is compared to states in the nation as a whole, not just cities.)

“D.C. is showing the nation that when you embrace higher expectations for teachers and for students, they rise to the challenge," D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson said in a release. "This work is difficult and it takes time, but our breakthrough gains demonstrate that the reforms we have put in place are working, and our students are making great progress.

There are currently 71,284 students in D.C. public schools, 73 percent of them qualifying for free or reduced lunch. 77.8 percent of D.C. students are black, 12.6 percent are Hispanic, and 7.1 percent are white.

Mayor Vince Gray announced the test results today with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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