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Academic Excellence for all Urban Students, Their Accomplishment in Science and Mathematics

Abstract

This report evaluative study of NSF's Urban Systemic Initiative and points out some lessons learned.


"Since 1993, the National Science Foundation's Urban Systemic Initiative (USI) program has been a catalyst for large-scale systemic change directed towards improving the science and mathematics achievement of ALL urban students. This report presents preliminary findings from an evaluative study of NSF's USI program among 22 large urban school districts.


This report presents evidence of noteworthy gains in student achievement, with the greatest gains seen in school districts that have participated in the USI program for the longest period of time. Urban students in USI school districts have substantially increased their enrollment rates in mathematics and science gate-keeping and higher-level courses. Underrepresented minority students made even greater enrollment gains than their peers during the same period, resulting in reduced enrollment disparities. Assessment test results show that USI students have made gains in science and mathematics achievement, while reducing achievement gaps among racial/ethnic groups. The increasing numbers of 11th and 12th grade students taking college entrance examinations (AP, SAT, and ACT) indicate that more students have aspirations of pursuing post-secondary education."

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