Education Secretary Arne Duncan, left, stands with Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, as he speaks to reporters during a visit to Malcolm X Elementary School in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Duncan announced that today’s fourth and eighth graders are doing better than their predecessors in math and reading. Today’s fourth and eighth graders are doing better than their predecessors in math and reading, but despite record high scores it’s too soon to start celebrating. The vast majority of students still are not demonstrating solid academic achievement in either subject, according to the Nation’s Report Card, released Thursday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sometimes the best isn’t good enough: Most American fourth- and eighth-graders still lack basic skills in math and reading despite record high scores on a national exam.
Yes, today’s students are doing better than those who came before them. But the improvements have come at a snail’s pace.
The 2013 Nation’s Report Card released Thursday finds that the vast majority of the students still are not demonstrating solid academic performance in either math or reading. Stubborn gaps persist between the performances of white children and their Hispanic and African-American counterparts, who scored much lower.
Overall, just 42 percent of fourth-graders and 35 percent of eighth-graders scored at or above the proficient level in math. In reading, 35 percent of fourth graders and 36 percent of eighth graders hit that mark.
Still, as state and federal policies evolve in the post-No Child Left Behind era, the nation’s school kids are doing better today on the test than Login to read more