The following are excerpts from an article which appeared in the Home News Tribune [NJ] (10/25) :
"New Jersey is doing just fine, thank you, when it comes to educating its children. Not that improvements can't be made. Here's what we mean.
"Results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress test released Wednesday reveal that in the core subjects of reading and math, N.J. pupils score higher than their counterparts in fourth through eighth grades across most of the country.
"Beneath the surface numbers, however, the hard-to-close gap between pupil scores in wealthy suburban school districts and poor urban school districts continues to exist.
"Still, overall scores for rich and poor pupils are rising, and that is good news. The strongest gain was in math; New Jersey achieved a dramatic increase in fourth-grade-level proficiency, from 68 percent of state pupils scoring at or above the "basic" level in 1996, to 86 percent today.
"The No Child Left Behind Act, criticized as it has been, nevertheless appears to be partly responsible for the high-flying test scores.
"Congratulations, pupils, parents and teachers."
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