Significant gains in student achievement by students in the Long Beach Unified School District are highlighted in a new national report, Beating the Odds, released by the Washington, D.C.-based Council of the Great City Schools. Long Beach is listed among the nation’s big-city school districts that continue to improve in reading and mathematics on state-mandated tests, with evidence of demographic achievement gaps narrowing, and lower performing students making gains. Long Beach is especially noted for achievement gains in fourth grade math and reading. The study contained encouraging news for many of the nation’s large urban school systems. The report showed that students in 67 major city school systems in 37 states posted substantially higher test scores in 2006 than in 2002 in fourth-and eighth-grade mathematics and reading on state assessments. "Urban schools are clearly increasing the numbers of students scoring above proficiency levels and decreasing the numbers at the lowest, contributing to overall progress where America wants it most," said Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. Visit www.cgcs.org for more information.