U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement on The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009 Trial Urban District Assessment, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Grades 4 and 8:
“Today’s report shows that the reading achievement of students in our largest cities has increased over time. At the same time, the results also show that cities have significant work to do. The increases since 2007 weren’t statistically significant in 4th grade. The overall scores of cities are lower than the nation, and the achievement gap in the urban districts is larger than in a nation.
“But the report shows that several cities are leading the way. Of the cities that have participated since the urban district assessments started in 2002, Atlanta and Los Angeles have produced significant increases in reading achievement in both 4th grade and 8th grade. Boston has significant increases since it first participated in the assessment in 2003.
“President Obama has committed unprecedented resources to reform our schools. Through Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, the administration is supporting states and districts that are creating the next generation of school reforms. Through the Blueprint for Reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the President is supporting schools efforts to prepare success in college and careers with a fair and flexible accountability system that is focused on our lowest-performing schools.
“In cities, towns, and rural areas across the country, we have to work together so that all children are receiving the world-class education they deserve.”