New "Nation's Report Card" Shows NCLB is Working for All Students
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The results from the newest Report Card are in and the news is outstanding. Three years ago, our country made a commitment that no child would be left behind. The 2004 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long-Term Trends in Academic Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card, has been administered using the same exact test in reading and mathematics for over 30 years. The 2004 Report Card is evidence that No Child Left Behind is working and 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.

No Child Left Behind is Working
Progress on the Report Card before 1999 was incremental, with student achievement changing a couple of points at a time in either direction. In the last five years, our nation's kids—and minority students in particular—have made some of the greatest gains in the report's history with the score jumping an unprecedented seven points to 219, by far the highest score ever. In fact, more than half of the progress in reading seen in the Report Card's 30-plus year history was made in the last five years. For example:

African-American Achievement on the Rise
With NCLB, we became the first nation to ever promise a quality education for all students and today we're seeing the results of that promise as African-American elementary school students posted all-time best scores in both reading and math.

Hispanic Achievement on the Rise
We're also seeing the results of the NCLB promise in increased achievement by Hispanic students:

America's Achievement Gap is Closing
This year's Report Card shows achievement is rising across the country at the same time that America's achievement gap is also closing. Nine-year-old minority students have done especially well in the last five years.

We still have work to do, especially in our nation's high schools.
We are at the beginning of the mission 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 peers.

Full results of the Long-Term Trend NAEP can be found at:

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Last Modified: 10/19/2005