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Three Urban Districts Added to TUDA

Governing Board Adds Three Urban Districts to NAEP

Dallas; Tampa, Fla.; and Albuquerque, N.M., bring total to 21

WASHINGTON (December 02, 2009)—The Nation's Report Card will now report results for a total of 21 urban school systems nationwide as part of the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) program, after the National Assessment Governing Board approved the addition of three big-city districts: Dallas Independent School District; Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools (which includes Tampa); and Albuquerque (N.M.) Public Schools.

The Governing Board, which sets policy for National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) or The Nation's Report Card, approved the additions to NAEP at its quarterly meeting in Raleigh, N.C. on November 21. Starting in 2011, the three new school districts will be included in the TUDA program—a special, voluntary study that has measured student performance city-wide on math, reading, writing, and science in grades 4 and 8 since 2002. TUDA tests representative samples of students and reports district-level student achievement results, including trends over time. 

To be eligible for TUDA, a district must be in a city with a population of 250,000 or more, and have at least half of its student population be African-American or Hispanic, or eligible for free and reduced-price lunch. New TUDA districts must be large enough to support testing three NAEP subjects per year in grades 4 and 8.

In making its decision, the Board factored in these requirements, as well as enrollment size and the desire for geographic diversity. The three districts accepted now join these other TUDA districts: Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore City; Boston; Charlotte; Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Fresno, Calif.; Houston; Jefferson County (Louisville, Ky.); Los Angeles; Miami (Dade County); Milwaukee; New York City; Philadelphia; San Diego; and District of Columbia Public Schools. Nearly 4.3 million public school students, representing about 8.7 percent of the national public school student population, are enrolled in the 21 TUDA districts, according to 2006-2007 enrollment figures (the last year available from Common Core Data).

The idea for a big-city version of the national NAEP originated in 2000, when the Council of the Great City Schools—a coalition of the nation's large urban public school districts—requested the Governing Board to conduct a trial NAEP assessment for large urban school districts that volunteered to participate.  Congress first authorized funding for TUDA in 2002 and has supported the expansion from the five initial volunteering districts to the current 21.

Stephaan Harris

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the only nationally representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of education in the United States. It has served as a national yardstick of student achievement since 1969. Through the Nation's Report Card, NAEP informs the public about what American students know and can do in various subject areas and compares achievement between states, large urban districts, and various student demographic groups.
The National Assessment Governing Board is an independent, bipartisan board whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to oversee and set policy for NAEP.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a congressionally authorized project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Center for Education Statistics, within the Institute of Education Sciences, administers NAEP. The Commissioner of Education Statistics is responsible by law for carrying out the NAEP project.