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Do High School Seniors Have the Reading and Math Skills to Succeed in College?

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November 19, 2010 02:16 pm

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Not enough of them do according to test results released yesterday from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. Only 38 percent of the nation’s twelfth graders read at a proficient level while 26 percent read below the most basic level, according to the 2009 results. In math, only 26 percent of twelfth-graders performed at proficient level; 36 percent performed below the most basic level.

Overall, the performance of twelfth graders nationwide in reading and math has improved since 2005. However, the average reading score was lower in 2009 compared to 1992. Additionally, significant achievement gaps persist among major racial/ethnic groups.

Appearing on World News with Diane Sawyer, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance and former governor of West Virginia, said “This is an education electrocardiogram, and what it says is we’re not making progress fast enough, and
this patient needs to be shocked into life.”

The report did offer some good news, finding that two thirds of the 100,000 twelfth graders that participated in NAEP plan to attend a 4-year college in the year after leaving high school. But, as the test results show, students need much more preparation if they’re going to avoid remedial classes once they get to college.

To read Gov. Wise’s full statement on the results, click here.

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