CMS takes top honors in national academic assessment

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had the highest average scale scores in math among 21 urban districts participating in the 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). The district also ranked second in fourth-grade reading and third in eighth-grade reading among participating urban districts.  The 2015 results for the 21 cities showed very little change from the scores in 2013.

NAEP is the largest nationally representative, continuing assessment of what the nation's students know and can do in selected subject areas. The assessments, given to a sampling of fourth- and eighth-graders across the country, are aligned with the Common Core standards adopted by many states, including North Carolina. Because the NAEP assessments are uniformly administered using the same sets of test booklets across the country, the results provide a common metric that allows comparison across states and participating school districts. The assessments also remain essentially the same from year to year to allow comparison of results over time.

"Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools continues to outperform most other major school systems across the country thanks to the hard work and dedication of our teachers, principals and support staff," said Ann Clark, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. "While we are proud that our students are scoring ahead of many others, we also acknowledge our overall scores are not where we want them to be. We still have much work to do and are committed to continuing our progress."

2015 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) - Average Scale Scores

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A summary of CMS' results are as follows:​

  • #1 in fourth-grade math - CMS students had an average score of 248, outperforming all other TUDA districts and the average scores for North Carolina (244), large cities (234) and public schools nationwide (240).
  • #1 in eighth-grade math - CMS students had an average score of 286, outperforming all other TUDA districts and the average scores for North Carolina (281), large cities (274) and national public schools (281).
  • #2 in fourth-grade reading - CMS students had an average score of 226, higher than every other TUDA district except Hillsborough County (Tampa), Fla. (230) and tied with Miami-Dade. The CMS score was comparable to North Carolina's (226) and exceeded the average scores for large cities (214) and public schools nationwide (221).
  • #3 in eighth-grade reading – the CMS score of 263 was higher than all other TUDA districts except Miami-Dade (265) and Duval County, Florida (264). CMS outperformed the average score for North Carolina (261) and large cities (257). The average score for public schools nationwide was 264.

"The 2015 NAEP data show Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools continues to be one of the leading school districts in the country," said Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools. "The community deserves to be proud of the excellence its schools continue to demonstrate for its students and the nation."

NAEP is executed by the National Center for Education Statistics. The National Assessment Governing Board, an independent group appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education, sets NAEP policy and develops the tests and frameworks used in testing. Each NAEP test in math and reading has a maximum score of 500.

NAEP began administering state tests in 1990. The Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) began in 2002 with six districts. TUDA now has 21 districts participating: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin (Texas), Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, District of Columbia, Duval County (Florida), Fresno (California),  Hillsborough County (Florida), Houston, Jefferson County (Louisville, Ky.), Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, New York City, Philadelphia and San Diego. The NAEP website can be accessed here.