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NEWS RELEASES 2005-06

NEWS RELEASES 2005-06 :: DECEMBER 1, 2005

CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS TOP OTHER CITIES
IN NAEP TRIAL

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools outperformed 10 other urban school districts in a special assessment of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation's Report Card, according to results released today by the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's performance in 2005 reflected improvements over 2003 on every measure except for eighth grade reading. Charlotte-Mecklenburg's performance on the fourth and eighth grade reading and mathematics assessments was higher than the results released in October for North Carolina overall.

State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee congratulated Charlotte-Mecklenburg for its strong performance. "It is clear that Charlotte-Mecklenburg is very focused on ensuring that students have the reading and mathematics skills they need for success. We are proud of their performance and its reflection on our state's efforts."

State Superintendent June Atkinson said that Charlotte-Mecklenburg's performance in grades four and eight shows that the rest of North Carolina can learn from the efforts there. "Charlotte-Mecklenburg continues to demonstrate that large city school districts can be successful school systems," Atkinson said.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system is the largest school district in North Carolina, serving approximately 120,000 students. Charlotte-Mecklenburg volunteered to participate in the TUDA.

The Trial Urban District Assessment is a project of the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Assessment Governing Board, and the Council of Great City Schools. TUDA assessed representative samples of fourth and eighth grade public school students in 2005 from Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, the District of Columbia, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and San Diego in mathematics and reading. In 2002, the first year of the TUDA project, five urban districts participated, but Charlotte-Mecklenburg was not included in that initial year. The five original districts were Atlanta, Chicago, the District of Columbia, Houston and Los Angeles.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's average mathematics scores were 244 for fourth graders and 281 for eighth graders in 2005. In 2003, the average scores were 242 for fourth graders and 279 for eighth graders. The average mathematics scores for the nation's public schools were 237 at the fourth grade and 278 at the eighth grade. For the large central cities in the TUDA, the average mathematics scores were 228 for fourth grade and 265 for eighth grade.

In reading, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's 2005 scores were 221 for fourth grade and 259 for eighth grade. In 2003, the district's average fourth grade reading score was 219 and the average eighth grade score was 262. The average reading scores for the nation's public schools were 217 at the fourth grade and 260 at the eighth grade. For the large central cities in the TUDA, the average reading scores were 206 for fourth grade and 250 for eighth grade.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's results were higher than North Carolina's results, released on Oct. 19. For more information about the North Carolina state results, visit the Public Schools of North Carolina Web site at www.ncpublicschools.org and look under News.

In addition to providing scale scores, the NAEP also reports the percentage of students considered to be at or above the NAEP Basic level. Charlotte-Mecklenburg's performance was much more positive than the other urban areas in the trial assessment. For example, 86 percent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's fourth grade student sample was at Basic or better in mathematics as compared to 67 percent for large central cities overall. For eighth graders, 69 percent in Charlotte-Mecklenburg were at Basic or better compared to 53 percent for large central cities overall.

In reading, 65 percent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg fourth graders were at Basic or better, as compared to 48 percent of the urban districts on average. For the eighth grade, the figures were 69 percent for Charlotte-Mecklenburg and 60 percent for the urban districts' average.

For more information on the NAEP TUDA, please contact the NC Department of Public Instruction's Division of Communication Services, 919.807.3450.

North Carolina's 2005 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Results News Release

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Web site

National's Report Card Web site

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.