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Houston ISD’s elementary and middle school students outperformed many of their peers in other urban systems on a national math exam this year, though the district made no significant gains over 2007.

The Houston Independent School District was among 18 urban systems to volunteer to give students the National Assessment of Educational Progress this year. Math scores were released today.

The test, also called the Nation’s Report Card, is offered every two years to fourth- and eighth-graders, and it allows districts across the country to compare the academic skills of their students.

HISD’s fourth-graders ranked fourth place, behind those in Charlotte, Austin and New York. They tied with those in the Boston, Miami-Dade and San Diego school districts.

Thirty percent of Houston’s fourth-graders scored at the proficient or advanced levels. About half mastered basic skills, while 18 percent were deemed below basic.

HISD’s eighth-graders placed fifth, behind Austin, Charlotte, San Diego and Boston.

About 30 percent of HISD’s eighth-graders scored below the basic level. Forty-five percent met the basic standard, while nearly 25 percent scored proficient or advanced.

While HISD scored below the national average in both grade levels this year, its children from poor families outperformed their peers across the country. The district did not improve its overall performance since 2007, but it has made significant progress since 2003, when the NAEP was first administered.

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