U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement on The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2009, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Grades 4 and 8:
“Today's results are evidence that we must better equip our schools to improve the knowledge and skills of America's students in mathematics. Our students have made real gains in math over the past two decades, but for the first time since NAEP's mathematics test started in 1990, student achievement in fourth grade has not improved. More must be done to narrow the troubling achievement gap that has persisted in mathematics, and to ensure that America's students make greater gains toward becoming competitive with their peers in other countries.
“None of us should be satisfied. We need reforms that will accelerate student achievement. Our students need to graduate high school ready to succeed in college and the workplace. These NAEP results are a call to action to reform the teaching and learning of mathematics and other related subjects in order to prepare our students to compete in the global economy.
“President Obama's agenda for school reform is focused on improving student achievement. We're building a teaching profession that will ensure every child has an excellent teacher and that teachers are rewarded for excellent work. We're supporting efforts to create standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and careers. We're helping states build data systems to track whether students are meeting those standards. And we're turning around our lowest-performing schools.
“People across the country need to work together to make these reforms happen. That includes elected officials, community leaders, educators, parents, and students themselves. We all need to build a better future for our children and our country.”