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America’s Kids Earn Disappointing Grades on Nation’s Report Card

Math and reading scores for 9-year-old students in the U.S. are flat since 2012, while those of 13-year-olds declined dramatically – representing the first major drops in the subjects since the National Assessment of Educational Progress began tracking long-term academic achievement trends in the 1970s.

While average scores have improved significantly in reading and math for both age groups since the tests were first administered – with the greatest gains experienced by Black and Hispanic students – scores for 13-year-old students declined in reading by 3 points and in math by 5 points since 2012, and scores for 9-year-olds remained unchanged.

“None of these results are impressive,” said Peggy Carr, the associate commissioner in the assessment division of the National Center for Education Statistics, which oversees the administration of the testing and the analysis of results.

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