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Assessment shows slight decline in reading, math at City Schools

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Posted at 1:09 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 13:13:53-04

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Results of the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress show Baltimore City Public Schools have slightly declined since 2017.

NAEP is administered in reading and math every other year to students in grades 4 and 8 and compares achievements across 27 large, urban school districts throughout the United States, called Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).

Slight decreases were found in fourth and eighth-grade reading and eight-grade math, while fourth-grade math showed a small uptick.

“I am proud of the hard work I’m seeing in classrooms across the district,” said Sonja Santelises, CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools. “Though we still have work to do to realize the gains we know are possible, I’m confident that if we stay focused on literacy, student wholeness, and leadership in the district’s Blueprint for Success, we are positioning our students and staff for success now and in the future.”

Results across other large city's also came in flat, with a three-point decrease in eighth-grade reading, and no change in math at that grade level.

A two-point decrease was revealed in fourth-grade reading, with a three-point increase found in fourth-grade math, in other large school districts.

The changes in eighth-grade reading and fourth-grade math were statistically significant.

Among the 27 TUDA districts, City Schools were in line with Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia.

The National Center for Education Statistics has reportedly analyzed math scores for TUDA districts with Smarter Balance and PARCC testing, and posted them on the National Assessment Governing Board website.

According to the analysis, fourth and eight-grade math scores at City Schools may have placed higher over the past several years if the National Assessment of Educational Progress were more closely aligned to college and career-readiness standards.

In 2019, City Schools passed an equity policy that aims to give all students an opportunity to excel academically and acknowledges the inequities that still exist.

Score gaps between black and white City School students are compared over ten years. Analysis shows the difference between their performance has widened since 2009.

“The district’s equity policy addresses an urgent need to ensure all of our students can be successful,” said Santelises. “We’ve made some significant changes to disrupt what and how we are teaching and to provide equitable access to programs and resources to our students. We have new curricula in English language arts and math, literacy coaches in 40 schools, Advanced Placement classes in every high school, and updated, ongoing professional learning for staff.”