SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten
SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten in October. Photo by Chris Stone

Results from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress — known as the “Nation’s Report Card” — showed significant gains in both reading and mathematics for the San Diego Unified School District.

The annual assessment, a program of the U.S. Department of Education, is based on representative samples of students nationwide at grades four, eight and 12.

San Diego was the only large urban district in the nation to register significant test score increases compared with 2015 in both reading and mathematics in the fourth grade, with notable gains made by students eligible for subsidized meals.

“San Diego Unified stands out as a hub of academic excellence and innovation, where students learn and thrive thanks to the dedication of our teachers,” Superintendent Cindy Marten said Tuesday after the results were publicly released. “The NAEP results underscore the incredible teaching and learning that’s occurring in San Diego Unified schools every day.”

San Diego Unified performed significantly higher than public schools in large cities across the nation for both grades four and eight. The district also significantly outperformed public school students in California in all areas except eighth-grade reading.

“San Diego Unified School District blew the socks off this cycle of the Nation’s Report Card, which measures progress on reading and math at grades four and eight. No other city in the country saw gains in both grades in reading and math like San Diego,” said Mike Casserly, executive director for the Council of the Great City Schools, which represents 70 of the nation’s largest urban public school districts.

The district’s 2017 results reversed a substantial score drop in fourth-grade mathematics in 2015, which was attributed to challenges that came with the first-year of the new Common Core mathematics curriculum.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.