U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today issued the following statement on The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2009, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Grades 4 and 8:
“Today's results once again show that the achievement of American students isn’t growing fast enough. After modest gains in recent years, 4th grade reading scores are flat and 8th grade scores were up just one point. The achievement gap didn’t narrow by a statistically significant amount in either grade. Like the NAEP 2009 math scores released last fall, the reading scores demonstrate that students aren’t making the progress necessary to compete in the global economy.
“We shouldn’t be satisfied with these results. By this and many other measures, our students aren’t on a path to graduate high school ready to succeed in college and the workplace.
“President Obama's agenda for school reform is focused on improving student achievement. Through the Race to the Top program and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we are supporting efforts to create standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and careers. We're also ensuring every child has an excellent teacher and that teachers are rewarded for excellent work. 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.”