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Nation's report card results show progress.

The latest results on the Nation's Report Card show that students have made significant gains since the enactment of No Child Left Behind and, in some cases, in the history of the assessment program, which began charting educational progress in 1971 in reading and 1973 in mathematics.

Released in July by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, data from the 2004 long-term National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) revealed:

* On average, nine-year-old students scored higher in both subjects in 2009 than in any previous assessment year, with substantial increases occurring since the last assessment in 1999.

* Thirteen-year-old students scored higher in math in 2004 than in any previous assessment year, with considerable increases occurring since 1999. But reading scores for this cohort remain unchanged from the last assessment.

* Overall performance of 17-year-old students in both subjects remained unchanged; however, black and Hispanic students in this age group made progress since the initial assessment.

* Many of the differences in achievement between black or Hispanic students and their white counterparts have narrowed, as the average scores for minority student groups have increased over time.

"Today's report card," said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, "is evidence that No Child Left Behind is working--it is helping to raise the achievement of young students of every race and from every type of family background. And the achievement gap that has persisted for decades in the younger years between minorities and whites has shrunk to its smallest size in history."

Although there is reason for celebration, Spellings said, there remains room for growth: "We are at the beginning of the journey and certainly have room for improvement, particularly at the high school level. We must support older students with the same can-do attitude that helped their younger brothers and sisters."

Based on a representative sample of students aged nine, 13 and 17, results on the long-term trend report are described by gender, race/ethnicity and parents' highest level of education. The "main" NAEP, the other basic type of the report that tests by grade rather than by age and includes state results, will be released later this fall.

For the full results of the 2004 report, visit http://nces.ed.gov and scroll down the menu to "Nation's Report Card."
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Title Annotation:National Center for Education Statistics
Publication:The Achiever
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Words:381
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