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Posted December 19, 2013

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APS Ranks in Top Half of Big City School Districts

Albuquerque Public Schools scored in the top half of comparable urban school districts on a national standardized math and reading test.

Though public perception is that Albuquerque Public Schools students don't do as well as those in other school districts, the results of a national standardized test prove differently.

APS scored in the top half of comparable urban school districts in both math and reading on the 2013 Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).  Our scores are even more impressive when you consider that we included a greater percentage of special education students and English Language Learners than other districts.

Every two years, a sampling of fourth and eighth graders from across the nation takes the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). This standardized test is often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card because results are used to compare states. New Mexico ranks close to the bottom of the nation on this test.

However, students in 21 urban school districts, including Albuquerque Public Schools, also voluntarily take TUDA, which is an extension of NAEP. The purpose of TUDA is to get a more accurate comparison of students in urban school districts.

And on TUDA, APS students scored in the top half.

It’s an apples-to-apples thing – comparing APS to Fresno, Dallas and Milwaukee makes more sense than comparing APS to Mora, Hondo or Santa Fe. APS is the only school district in New Mexico that takes the TUDA. This is the second time APS students have taken the test.

2013 Results

  • APS ranked 10th out of 21 school districts in fourth grade math – moving up one place from 2011.
  • In eight grade math, APS ranked 9th out of 21, moving down one place from 2011.
  • In fourth grade reading, APS finished 10th, moving up one place from 2011.
  • Our best ranking is in eight grade reading, where we finished 8th, moving up one place from 2011.

It should be noted that a greater percentage of our special education students and English Language Learners took the test than in other school districts, yet we still ranked in the top half. NAEP allows districts to exclude up to 5 percent of its special education and ELL students. APS excluded fewer than 2 percent of those students.

“These results are encouraging because they show that APS is better than many of the nation’s urban school districts facing similar educational challenges,” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks. “While we still have a lot of work to do, the TUDA results show that we are taking the right steps towards improving student success.”

The achievement gap for Hispanic and poor students in APS is comparable to other urban school districts, according to TUDA results.

 

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