New performance indicators on Duval County Public School students became available this morning as part of the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)’s latest “Nation's Report Card.”
Unlike state standardized assessments, like the FCAT and the new Florida Standards Assessment (FSA), NAEP is a test that is administered throughout the nation to small, representative groups of students in each participating district. This means that it can be used to better make comparisons across state lines, allowing comparison from state to state or district to district.
In Duval County, each NAEP assessment sample included about 1,000 students, from either 4th or 8th grade, distributed across 40 schools.* The four main areas the NAEP assessed were 4th grade Mathematics, 4th grade Reading, 8th grade Mathematics, and 8th grade Reading.
NAEP scores show that Duval County Public Schools are performing well compared to the other “Large Urban Districts” (defined by NAEP as districts that center around a city with a large population and urban core) across the nation. Of the 21 other Large Urban Districts, Duval County ranks:
• 4th in 4th grade Reading
• 4th in 4th grade Mathematics
• 2nd in 8th grade Reading
• 7th in 8th grade Mathematics.
These rankings show comparable performance between Duval the other two participating large urban districts in Florida – Hillsborough County and Miami-Dade County.
What is even more encouraging is Duval County’s outstanding NAEP performance for students with disabilities. For students with disabilities, Duval County ranked:
• First among all Large Urban Districts in 4th grade Mathematics
• Second in 4th grade Reading
• First in 8th grade Mathematics
• Second in 8th grade Reading.
Duval County also ranked highly in African-American and Hispanic NAEP performance, landing in the top 4 Large Urban Districts for the majority of assessments.
Nationwide, NAEP results were not as positive, showing a decrease in both reading and mathematics at 4th and 8th grade levels for the first time since 1990. (Because this was the first year Duval County participated in the NAEP, comparison data to last year’s performance is not available.) However, education administrators caution that these scores are not a cause for alarm at this time, as this one slight decrease does not yet imply a long-term downward trend in scores. It is likely that the nationwide move to Common Core standards, a switch thus far made by 40 states including Florida, predicated the dip in scores as teachers, schools, and students adjust to the change in standards and practices.
For more information on Duval County NAEP performance, see the following links:
*Data on which Duval County schools were involved in NAEP is currently unavailable to the public