The following article was published today by Bloomberg Media (10/19):
"Black and Hispanic pupils in the U.S. have narrowed their achievement gap with white classmates on standardized reading and math tests, new government data shows.
"Reading scores among fourth-graders on the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress rose six points from 2000 to 2005, and math scores rose 12 points, led by gains among black and Hispanic pupils. The results of the 500-point benchmark test, known as the "Nation's Report Card," are released every two years.
"Pupils in both the fourth and eighth grades had record-high scores on this year's math tests. Average reading scores among fourth-graders tied the 2002 level, while the reading scores of eighth-grade pupils slipped two points below the average in 2002.
"‘I’m pleased but not satisfied," U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said today in a conference call with reporters. "We clearly have work to do on all fronts in all grade levels for all kids."
"About 64 percent of fourth-grade pupils scored at grade level or higher on reading tests, and about 73 percent of eighth-graders met the basic standards in reading. In math, 80 percent of fourth- graders and 69 percent of eighth-graders met the basic achievement standard on this year's test.
"The short-term changes in reading scores between 2003 and 2005 showed "mixed results" among different states, according to the report.
"The national and state scores released today will be presented to lawmakers to guide suggestions on how individual states can improve their education systems, Spellings said.
"The Bush administration, under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, wants to boost standards for reading and math comprehension and hold states accountable for their students' achievement. Most of the resources distributed under this law have been directed so far at kindergarten through third grades, according to Spellings."
The complete text of the article can be accessed through: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/
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