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2005 Math and Reading

2005 Nation’s Report Card Shows Significant Progress For U.S. Students in Reading and Mathematics

Black, Hispanic & Lower Income Students Post Some of the Larger Achievement Gains

WASHINGTON — (October 19, 2005) Overall, student achievement in the U.S. continues to rise, according to results from The 2005 Nation’s Report Card™, with some of the larger gains being made by the nation’s Black, Hispanic and lower income students.

The results are documented in two reports, The Nation’s Report Card™ Reading 2005 and The Nation’s Report Card™ Mathematics 2005, which detail achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) administered to fourth and eighth-graders in selected years, most recently 2000, 2003 and in 2005, earlier this year.

Based on national averages, achievement in mathematics rose to its highest level in 15 years, with most of the gains for both students in grades four and eight occurring since 2000. Gains in mathematics for both fourth and eighth-graders from both 2000 and 2003 to 2005 were significant.

Reading results for fourth-graders showed significant improvement over both 2002 and 2003, although gains were less dramatic than those for mathematics. Since 2000, average reading score gains for fourth grade Black and Hispanic students exceed those of other student groups. Reading performance of eighth-graders shows a small, but significant decline since the last assessment.

Improvements in state assessment results tend to follow national trends. Results are stronger in mathematics than reading, and better in fourth grade than in eighth grade.

"These results indicate progress,” said Darvin M. Winick, chair of the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) that sets policy for NAEP. “The results are similar to those from the national, long-term trend assessments of nine- and thirteen-year-old students, which NAGB released last July. Parents and educators should be pleased with recent successes, especially at the elementary level. While still large, the differences between those students classified as eligible and not eligible for subsidized lunches continue to shrink."

2005 Nation’s Report Card

In 2005, more than 165,000 fourth-grade students and 159,000 eighth-grade students nationwide participated in the NAEP assessment in reading. About 172,000 fourth-grade and 162,000 eighth-grade students nationwide participated in the math assessment.

The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2005 and The Nation’s Report Card: Mathematics 2005 are available online at

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Stephaan Harris