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The Nation’s Report Card: Reading and Mathematics Results for Grades Four and Eight


Jack Buckley, Commissioner, National Center for Education Statistics
Dr. Cornelia Orr, Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board 
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education

The nation’s fourth- and eighth-grade students posted the highest average mathematics scores ever on the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as “The Nation’s Report Card.” Scores in reading were mixed; average scores were up slightly for eighth graders, but remained unchanged for fourth graders.

Even with the improvement, large achievement gaps remain between white students and students of color in both grades and both subjects. Additionally, one-third of fourth graders and nearly one-quarter of eighth graders continue to read below the Basic achievement level on the Nation’s Report Card.

What were the other key findings from the Nation’s Report Card? What can be done to close unacceptable achievement gaps and increase achievement levels of all students?

On November 30 the Alliance for Excellent Education held a webinar examining NAEP results reading and math in grades four and eight. The webinar featured Jack Buckley, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics; Dr. Cornelia Orr, executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board; and Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia.

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