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Student scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress tests, also called "The Nation's Report Card," are widely considered the best measure of how well schools are educating students.
In 2009, students in the fourth and eighth grade in 18 urban school districts took the NAEP math tests. Their scores show that while schools in a few cities beat their statewide counterparts, most urban districts underperform when compared with other schools in their state. The tests are scored on a scale of zero to 500, with national averages of 239 for 4th-grade students and 282 for 8th-grade students.
The following slides proceed in order from the lowest performing urban school district to the best district based on the differences between the districts' scores and the corresponding state averages.
The 18 cities included are Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.