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

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

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.

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.

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.

“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.”

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.