National assessment shows Duval County Public Schools improves rankings among peer school districts

Oct. 24, 2022 – Amid a global pandemic, Duval County Public Schools improved its national academic ranking in eighth grade math and eighth grade reading while maintaining its top five ranking in fourth grade reading compared to peer school districts across the country.  

The district is also in the national top five for fourth grade math but saw its position change from third to fourth in the most recent release of scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) program.

“Last week, we learned our schools earned a record number of state School Recognition awards,” said Duval County School Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. “Today we received very positive news about our academic rankings compared to other larger, urban school districts. Our schools continue to produce outcomes that reflect the strong health of public education in Duval County compared to similar school districts.”

While rankings show that Duval students and educators weathered the pandemic better than most urban school districts, the impact of the pandemic is evident. Compared to 2019, average scores across the nation and the district are lower in three of the four categories. The exception is eighth grade reading, which was unchanged at both the national and district levels compared to 2019 scores.

“We can’t wish away the impact of the pandemic on the learning experience of this generation,” Greene said. “We can take pride in the fact that our schools weathered it better than most, but as a nation and a community, we must continue efforts to enhance and accelerate learning for students who experienced school in the COVID era.”

Ray Hart, executive director of the Council of Great City Schools, applauded Duval’s outcomes.

“In all subject and grade combinations, Duval County remained on par or higher than the majority of peer TUDA districts across the country, despite the pandemic,” Hart said. “In grade eight mathematics, the declines were not as steep as other large city districts. In grade eight reading, Duval’s scores maintained pre-pandemic levels, while the nation, Florida, and large cities declined.”

“Sustaining achievement in any grade or subject in the face of a global crisis is no easy feat and is a testament to Duval’s initiatives during and after the pandemic,” Hart said.

What is NAEP

The NAEP program has served as the primary measurement of student achievement among the nation’s state education systems. NAEP informs the American public about how students are progressing and enables comparisons among states, large urban districts, and student groups.

Duval County Public Schools joined the NAEP district assessment program for mathematics and reading in 2015. Application to the program is voluntary. Selection criteria include district size, ratio of African American or Hispanic students and the ratio of students in the district who are eligible for free and reduced school lunch.

The district also participates in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) program of NAEP. This voluntary accountability program enables large districts to have their scores tallied separately from their states, enabling comparisons among the nation’s largest participating cities.

Across the nation, 26 large districts participate in this program including two others in Florida. Duval ranked in the top five in three out of four tested areas among the other participating school districts in the 2022 assessments, which tests a random sample of fourth and eighth grade students in reading and math.

How does Duval compare

Compared to the other 26 TUDA districts who participated in the 2022 NAEP, Duval is ranked in the top five in almost every category.

The categories include racial and social subgroups tracked for equity in educational outcomes: All students; African American students; Hispanic students; Free and reduced lunch (FRL) students; and Students with Disabilities (SWD).

Areas where Duval is ranked in the top five among TUDA districts:

Grade 4 Mathematics

  • All students (4)
  • African American students (2)
  • Hispanic students (5)
  • Free and reduced lunch (FRL) students (3)
  • Students with disabilities (SWD) (2)

Grade 8 Mathematics

  • African American students (3)
  • SWD (1)

Grade 4 Reading

  • All Students (5)
  • African American students (4)
  • Hispanic students (4)
  • FRL students (5)
  • SWD (4)

Grade 8 Reading

  • All students (4)
  • African American students (3)
  • Hispanic students (5)
  • SWD (2)
  • FRL students (5)

Visit the National Center for Education Statistics for a further review of the results and to learn more about NAEP.

About Duval County Public Schools

Duval County Public Schools is the 20th largest school district in the nation, educating more than 129,000 students in over 190 schools. Its mission is to provide educational excellence for every school, in every classroom, for every student, every day. Visit to learn more.

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