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NEWS RELEASES 2006-07 :: NOVEMBER 15, 2006


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools performed better in science than 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, along with Austin, Texas, outperformed the other large urban school districts participating in the trial assessment. Ten urban school districts participate in this voluntary measure. In addition to Charlotte and Austin, the other participants were Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and San Diego. This is the first year that science has been assessed through the TUDA.

"We congratulate the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system for participating in the trial urban assessment and for setting rigorous goals for its students. We are pleased that North Carolina's representative in this assessment outperformed most other participants, and we look forward to continued improvement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg students," said State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee and State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Austin, Texas, were at the top of the 10 urban districts for fourth and eighth grade science. Charlotte-Mecklenburg's science results were lower than the North Carolina overall results, which were released in May.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's average science score for fourth graders was 145, as compared to 149 for North Carolina overall and to 149 for the nation's public schools overall. For eighth graders, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg average science score was 142 as compared to 144 for North Carolina and to 147 for the nation overall.

In addition to the scale scores, the NAEP also reports the percentage of students considered to be at or above Basic on the assessment. Charlotte-Mecklenburg's percent of fourth graders at or above Basic in science was 60 percent, as compared to 65 percent for North Carolina and 66 percent for the nation. For eighth graders, 50 percent of the students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg were considered at or above Basic, as compared to 53 percent for North Carolina overall and 57 percent for the nation.

For more information about the NAEP TUDA, please contact the NC Department of Public Instruction's Communications office at 919/807-3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 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 Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.