LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — After the most recent national test score release, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says things are looking up for District schools.

“You know, it wasn’t that long ago that the state of public education in the District of Columbia looked bleak,” he said in his weekly radio address on All News 99.1.

“We had crumbling school buildings, missing textbooks, and stagnant student outcomes.”

But he is encouraged by the fact that the system’s African-American students and its lowest performing students are improving, according to their 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress scores.

District schools were first in the nation for growth in NAEP scores among 4th to 8th grade students in both reading and math.

“Not only did our students achieve significant increases, but the results show something even more encouraging,” Gray said. “The mathematics achievement gap between our students and their peers across the country has declined markedly over the past decade, with a reduction of nearly 50 percent.”

The scores also show that the District has substantially increased the percentage of students who score at levels the NAEP ranks as “at or above proficient.”

“When the lowest-performing students and those with the most challenging backgrounds are showing improvement, we know we’re seeing meaningful progress,” Gray said. But test scores aren’t the only area of improvement.

“From increased enrollment across our public schools – highlighting parents’ confidence in our school systems – to fully operating schools and increased proficiency rates across the education sector in the District, our school systems have turned the corner,” Gray said.

“While we still have much more work to do, these results highlight the need to double down on our successes and stay the course.”

Listen to the Mayor’s full address here:


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