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Statement by U.S. Education Secretary Duncan on 'The Nation's Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment, Science 2009'

Press Office, (202) 401-1576,

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement on "The Nation's Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment, Science 2009," National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Grades 4 and 8:

“The results released today show that students in our cities are further behind in science than in reading and mathematics. In the 21st century economy, today’s students will need scientific knowledge to be the world-class innovators and inventors who will sustain America’s long-term economic prosperity. With 44 percent of fourth graders and 56 percent of eighth graders scoring below NAEP’s basic level, these results show that large city districts aren’t preparing enough students to succeed in the knowledge economy.

“President Obama is committed to improving achievement in science and has set a goal to recruit 100,000 new science and mathematics teachers over the next decade. In his fiscal 2012 budget, he’s investing more than $4 billion to improve the recruitment, preparation, and professional development of teachers in the classroom. Of that investment, $206 million will improve the quality of teaching in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and another $80 million will prepare future math and science teachers. The budget also will support the recruitment of effective teachers in science and other subjects into hard-to-staff schools, many of which are in urban districts.

“In his State of the Union Address, the President called on parents, teachers, administrators, academics, local leaders, and the private sector to work together to advance science and mathematics education. Our nation’s long-term economic prosperity depends on providing a world-class education to all students regardless of their zip code.”