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Back to December Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 215 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS DECEMBER 2003

Reading Scores Show No Improvement 
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Public schoolchildren have made no gains in reading, according to NAEP data released November 13. Fourth graders received a score of 218 points on the 500-point scale, compared with 217 in 1992. Eighth graders scored 263, about the same as in 1998 when the 8th-grade state reading test was first given.

As part of the federal No Child Left Behind education reforms, the tests were administered in reading and math for the first time this year in all 50 states. Known as "the nation’s report card," the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) assesses what students know and can accomplish in a variety of subjects.

The national tests measure more than whether scores are going up or down. They also show how students are doing compared with how they ought to be doing, a level termed "proficient," which means understanding challenging subject matter and applying it to real-world situations.

In reading and math, fewer than one in three students achieved the proficient level.

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige delivered a speech to UNESCO in Paris on October 3, wherein he stated that President Bush’s goal is that "every child must learn to read by the third grade." Paige said that Bush has invested historic levels of funding in education, and that his latest budget request boosts education funding to "levels that represent a 25% increase since he took office."

Paige told the UNESCO Round Table of Ministers on Quality Education that "my country has been multicultural since its founding," and that we are "preparing our children to become citizens of the world."


 
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