Schools Make Minor Math Progress

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Click below for the CPS version of how it did on the national assessment urban math rankings. Copies of The Nation's Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment Mathematics 2009 and additional data collected from the 2009 NAEP TUDA math assessment will be available online at at 10 a.m. EST on Dec. 8.

More on this later.  I talked last night with Dave Driscoll, the head of the assessment, and he told me that progress for CPS and for other big cities has slowed markedly since 2007 -- because of the economy, perhaps -- and that the gains were more significant during the 2003-2007 period.  But things haven't gone backwards, either, so that's worth noting.  And exclusion rates haven't spiked over the past couple of years, which some had worried was being used to game the NAEP system.  Alas, CPS still lags behind the other big cities in many if not most measures. 

Did your school participate in the NAEP TUDA study recently?  Is it any better or different from the other standardized assessments? 

Math Test Results Show CPS Students

Steady Progress



Chicago Public Schools students showed continued progress in
2009 mathematics testing conducted by the National Assessment of Educational
Program (NAEP).


Data released today by NAEP show that fourth and eighth
grade CPS students who were tested last school year continued the upward trend
line that began with introduction of the NAEP test in 2003. An especially
dramatic jump was seen in results for fourth grade Hispanic students.


Meanwhile, District officials acknowledged that while CPS
continues to make incremental gains in NAEP testing, it still trails the
national average.


often referred to as the nation's report card,
is the only national test that measures students throughout the U.S.
using a common yardstick. NAEP tests are administered biennially in
math and reading
at grades four and eight. Reading results will be released next spring.


CPS results show that fourth graders tested at an average
scale score of 222, up from 214 when NAEP testing began in 2003 and up two
points from the previous round of testing in 2007.


For eighth graders, the average scale score was 264, up from
254 in 2003 and up four points from 2007 testing.


The 2003-09 comparisons constitute a "marked
improvement" in student performance, District officials said.


CPS officials said the continued upward trend line which
shows steady growth since 2003 is heartening, but they also understand that the
District has more work to do in order to achieve a goal of making greater and
sustainable progress.


 NAEP tested almost 163,000  fourth graders and
about 156,000 eighth graders in  school districts nationwide.


In Chicago, 111 schools and about 2,000  fourth
graders, and 110 schools and about 1,800 eighth graders were tested.


The 2009 NAEP study shows:


for fourth grade Hispanic students showed a seven-point scale score gain from
2007-09, rising from 219 to 226.

been made in closing the fourth grade gap between lower-income students
in Chicago and the nation. The District scale score has risen from 212
in 2003 to 222 in 2009
compared to the national scores of 219 to 228.

increase from 10 percent in 2003 to 18 percent in 2009 for CPS fourth graders
scoring at or above the "proficient level."

for eighth grade lower-income students show a higher average scale score
compared to 2003. CPS scores have moved from 252 to 261; similar scores for the
nation are 258 to 266.

for eighth grade students in all racial and ethnic groups are higher compared
to 2003.


CPS officials noted that the District has a number of
classroom and professional development initiatives aimed at improving the
performance of its students in mathematics, including:


n      Programmatic

o       Recommended research-based
instructional programs aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards.

o       Providing resources and tools such
as pacing guides to support teaching and learning.

o       Supporting improved instruction in
all classrooms through the use of common interim assessments and
curriculum-embedded assessments.

n      Better prepared teachers

o       Building teacher capacity through
professional development and coaching.

o       Partnerships with universities to
support improved mathematics teaching and learning.

n      High School Algebra for Middle Grade
Students. Increasing the number of schools offering an approved algebra course
for well-prepared middle grade students.

n      Extended day opportunities, such as
after-school and summer school programs.


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  • more coverage from the dailies about the NAEP scores:


  • Well then maybe it wasn't such a hot idea to disband the Office of Mathematics and Science and turn it into two offices which will no doubt be underfunded, understaffed, undersupported, and generally driven to distraction with action items, KPI's and standardized assessments.

  • United States Is Substantially Behind Other Nations in Providing Teacher Professional Development That Improves Student Learning; Report Identifies Practices that Work

  • rosalind rossi has some additional reactions to the incremental gains from barbara radner and others -- here:,CST-NWS-math09.article

    what happened, do you think?
    is this a curriulum thing, or an instructional day/ length of year thing, or a teacher quality/effectiveness thing?

  • National math test scores continue to be disappointing. This poor trend persists in spite of new texts, standardized tests with attached implied threats, or laptops in the class. At some point, maybe we should admit that math, as it is taught currently and in the recent past, seems irrelevant to a large percentage of grade school kids.

    Why blame a sixth grade student or teacher trapped by meaningless lessons? Teachers are frustrated. Students check out.

    The missing element is reality. Instead of insisting that students learn another sixteen formulae, we need to involve them in tangible life projects. And the task must be interesting.

    Project-oriented math engages kids. It is fun. They have a reason to learn the math they may have ignored in the standard lecture format of a class room.

    Alan Cook

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