Wednesday, December 18, 2013

NEWS RELEASE -- SD Unified keeps pace in 'Nation's Report Card'

NEWS RELEASE from the San Diego Unified School District, Dec. 18, 2013



SAN DIEGO -- The latest biennial "Nation's Report Card" released by the US
Department of Education shows that the San Diego Unified School District
continues to rank near the top of large city school systems across the

The National Assessment of Educational Progress reading and math tests
administered in 2013 reports that San Diego Unified ranks among the
highest performing cities in the nation in fourth- and eighth grade
reading and math. The program tests students across the nation and in each
state, and it allows the 21 participating cities to compare their results
not only to California but to the nation and to other cities outside the

Superintendent Cindy Marten indicated that the district received good
benchmark data from the assessment that will allow the school district to
know where it stands with comparable cities and where reforms will need to
focus going forward.

"Our culture of innovation, excellence, and creativity has allowed
teachers to concentrate on student achievement, giving San Diego Unified a
consistent spot near the top," said Marten. "As we transition to the new
Common Core State Standards, our focus is on increasing rigor, pacing, and
engagement as we challenge ourselves to come up with new ways to address
the persistent achievement gap and achievement in grade 8 math."

In Grade 4 reading, the 2013 score of 218 is up from 2003's score of 208.
The national public average this year was 221 with the large-city score at
212. Los Angeles came in at 205 while Fresno students scored 196.
Districts topping San Diego Unified nominally were Austin, Texas, and
Jefferson County, Ky., 221; Miami-Dade County Fla., 223;
Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, N.C., 226; Hillsborough County, Fla., 228.
As with mathematics, San Diego scored higher than several cities such as
Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia. Houston actually posted a
significant decline in 4th grade reading scores on the 2013 assessment.

Grade 8 reading saw San Diego students score at 260 in 2013, up from the
250 in 2003. The 2013 average for large cities was 258, while the national
average for public schools was 266. Districts topping San Diego Unified
were Jefferson County, Ky., and Austin, Texas, at 261;
Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, N.C., 266; Hillsborough County, Fla., 267.
San Diego scored higher than cities such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and

In Grade 4 math, San Diego Unified's scores have risen to 241 in 2013 from
226 in 2003--right at the national average and substantially above other
large city schools. The comparable Los Angeles score was 228 and Fresno's
was 220. Districts with somewhat higher scores than San Diego Unified
were: Hillsborough County, Fla., 243; Austin, Texas, 245; and
Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., 247. San Diego scored higher than cities such
as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and New York City.

In Grade 8, math, San Diego's 2013 score of 277 was up from the 264 in
2003. The 2013 average for large cities was 276, while the national
average for public schools was 284. Districts topping San Diego Unified
were Houston, 280; Boston, 283; Hillsborough County, Fla., 284; Austin,
Texas, 285; and Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, N.C., 289. Among California
districts, Los Angeles was 205 and Fresno, 196. San Diego out-scored
cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

"Over the last decade, the San Diego schools have posted some of the
largest academic increases of any city nationwide -- something that is
very hard to do given its already high academic achievement compared with
other cities," said Michael Casserly, Executive Director of the Council of
the Great City Schools. "This is particularly impressive given the
frequent leadership transitions, major personnel changes, and significant
budget cuts that the school system has experienced over that period. We
are enormously optimistic about the reforms that the school system is
launching under its new superintendent."

Data on individual schools is not provided by this study. For more
information, visit the NAEP/TUDA website at

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Moises Aguirre
San Diego Unified
4100 Normal St, Rm 2232
San Diego, CA 92103

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