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Report: AISD Scores Better In Math Than Other Urban Districts

Image courtesy NAEP
AISD was among 21 districts tested in this report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Students in the Austin Independent School District are outscoring other large urban districts – including Houston and Dallas – in one of the most-watched math tests in the country. The National Assessment of Educational Progress’s (NAEP) report tested fourth and eighth grade students in 21 urban districts across the United States.

Districts are ranked on the number of students who scored at or above the so-called “Basic” level, a benchmark that represents “partial mastery” of knowledge and skills needed for that grade level.

Austin fourth graders came in second place among the 21 urban districts, with 87 percent scoring at or above the Basic level. Charlotte, NC was first with 88 percent.

Austin eighth graders came in first place among the 21 urban districts, with 74 percent scoring at or above the Basic level.

“We are extremely proud of our students and staff, who continue to prove that they are outstanding among their peers,” Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said in a news release.

However, while Austin eighth graders outperformed their cohorts in other urban districts, their math scores were still below the Texas average in the larger NAEP report that tests all school districts.

Nevertheless, Austin's ranking is already attracting some attention.

"Based on the results, we ought to be looking at how Austin and Charlotte are teaching math — they are not only outperforming their big city peers, they are outranking the nation," writes Atlanta Journal-Constitution education reporter Maureen Downey.

All the urban districts participating in the study are located in cities with a population above 250,000 and have a majority of students who are black, Hispanic, or eligible for free and reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program. Austin ISD’s student population is 60 percent Hispanic, 9 percent African-American, and 64 percent economically disadvantaged.

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