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About the Nation's Report Card

The Nation’s Report CardTM informs the public about the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students in the United States. Report cards communicate the findings of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a continuing and nationally representative measure of achievement in various subjects over time. The Nation’s Report Card compares performance among states, urban districts, public and private schools, and student demographic groups.

For over three decades, NAEP assessments have been conducted periodically in reading, mathematics, science, writing, history, geography, and other subjects. By making objective information available on student performance at the national, state, and local levels, NAEP is an integral part of our nation’s evaluation of the condition and progress of education. Only information related to academic achievement and relevant variables is collected. The privacy of individual students is protected, and the identities of participating schools are not released. NAEP is a congressionally mandated project of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. The Commissioner of Education Statistics is responsible for carrying out the NAEP project. The National Assessment Governing Board oversees and sets policy for NAEP.

What is the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA)?

Throughout much of its history, the Nation’s Report Card has reported on student achievement for the nation as a whole, for regions of the country, and for participating states and jurisdictions. It was not until recently, though, that some of America’s urban school districts were also able to benefit from these data.

Home to some of the largest and most diverse student populations in the country, urban school districts increasingly wanted to track and compare the performance of their students in a way that would be relevant and meaningful. The Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) was conducted in 2002 as a feasibility study, at the suggestion of and in cooperation with the Council of the Great City Schools, a coalition of the nation’s largest urban school districts.

Five urban districts volunteered to participate in the first TUDA assessment in reading and writing: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York City. (Results from the District of  Columbia, which participates with the rest of the country in the main NAEP, are included in both
the TUDA and the Nation’s Report Card.) Representative samples of students in grades 4 and 8 participated in reading and writing assessments in 2002, and the results were reported for each district by grade along with a range of other student demographic groups.

For the 2003 assessments in reading and mathematics, TUDA expanded to 10 districts by adding Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, and San Diego. In 2005, Austin became the eleventh district to participate in TUDA. In addition to testing students in reading and mathematics, TUDA examined students’ abilities in science for the first time in 2005. The District of Columbia, which participated in the reading and mathematics Trial Urban District Assessments, was unable to participate in the
2005 science assessment because of the relatively small size of its student population.

Detailed information about the sampling, data collection, data analysis, and reporting procedures used by the NAEP program as part of the science assessment is available.

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