Federal Test Shows U.S. 12th Graders Aren’t Improving in Reading or Math"I wanted to be surprised and I wasn't," said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a policy and advocacy nonprofit focused on readying high-school graduates for work or college. He said the results don't fully reflect higher standards implemented in recent years—for instance the Common Core, which has been adopted by more than 40 states. "We're in the midst of a very epic change in this country," Mr. Wise said. "We raised standards and realize that all students need to graduate to be college- or career-ready in some form, but we're not there yet. We raised the bar but haven't put in all the steps yet for all our students to be able to clear it."