Students in the nation's 55 largest urban districts are making solid strides in math and reading, according to data tabulated by the Council of the Great City Schools.
In a report titled "Beating the Odds," the council says that of the 55 districts--located in 35 states--92 percent saw math test scores improve this year. In addition, these districts also improved math scores faster than other districts in their state and at more grade levels than their suburban and/or rural counterparts.
The council was quick to add, however, that despite the gains in math, urban schools remain below suburban and rural schools, and below the national averages for math.
Improvements in math scores on state tests from 1995 to 2000 were supported by rising National Assessment of Educational Progress scores, according to the council. The NAEP, which is given in fourth and eighth grades, is often referred to as the "nation's report card," because it is given annually to students in about 40 states.
As for reading scores, 80 percent of the districts improved those scores, with 34 percent of them doing it faster than their non-urban counterparts. …