10.30 APS 2019 NAEP Results Show Significant Improvements in 4th Grade Math and 8th Grade Reading

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

October 30, 2019

APS 2019 NAEP Results Show Significant Improvements in 4th Grade Math and 8th Grade Reading

District posts growth in all grades and subjects tested since 2015.

ATLANTA — Results for the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, show Atlanta Public Schools (APS) continues to make incremental gains. The percentage of students scoring proficient and above has increased in all four tested grades/subjects since 2015; according to NAEP, gains are statistically significant in 4th grade math and 8th grade reading. See Figure 1.

Figure 1. APS NAEP Percentage Proficient and Above, 2015 to 2019

Figure 1  

NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Every two years, NAEP samples students in 4th and 8th grade and assesses them in reading and mathematics. In 2019, NAEP selected approximately 2,500 representative APS students to participate in the assessment.

Figure 2 shows the average scale score by grade/subject for APS, Georgia, public schools in large cities nationwide and all public schools. Nationwide, the average 8th grade reading score decreased compared to 2017 (statistically significant). APS scores, however, held steady. Additionally, in 4th grade reading, APS scored similarly to other large city districts and narrowed the gap with other Georgia districts since 2017 (not statistically significant). APS students also narrowed the gap in 8th grade math with other students in large cities and across Georgia, though these changes were not significant.

Figure 2. NAEP Average Scale Score, 2015 to 2019

Figure 2

“We’re encouraged to see the transformation strategies and related investments contributing to significant gains, including APS narrowing the gap with our large urban peers in reading,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen. “However, there is still work to be done. We must ensure that our students are more competitive with students from across Georgia and the nation in order to prepare them for college and career and to provide them the opportunity for choice-filled lives.”

Figure 3 shows the APS average scale scores by race/ethnicity.  Gaps persist between black/Hispanic and white student achievement.

Figure 3. APS NAEP Average Scale Score by Race / Ethnicity, 2019

Figure 3

NAEP achievement levels provide a breakdown of scale score by below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. These achievement levels do not represent proficiency as defined by the Georgia Milestones Assessments and are not intended to reflect Georgia’s grade-level standards.

APS voluntarily participates in the NAEP assessment as a TUDA district (Trial Urban District Assessment), which is a special assessment group of 27 school districts in large metropolitan areas. By participating in NAEP as the only TUDA district in Georgia, APS is able to receive district-level aggregated scores which are comparable to other TUDA districts, Georgia, and public schools in large cities nation-wide. Note that NAEP results are never reported for individual students or schools.

Additional information about NAEP and APS’ district-level snapshots are available on the NAEP website:  https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/. The district also looks forward to upcoming deeper analyses, including internally and from the Council of Great City Schools.

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About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 52,000 students across 87 schools. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 58 neighborhood schools, six partner schools, 18 charter schools, two citywide single-gender academies and three alternative programs. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AtlantaPublicSchools/ and on Twitter and Instagram @apsupdate.