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Spellings Hails New National Report Card Results

Block that metaphor.

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings released the following statement regarding the 2004 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Long-Term Trends in Academic Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card. This particular NAEP long-term trend assessment has been administered using the same exact test in reading and mathematics for over 30 years:

The results from the newest Report Card are in and the news is outstanding. Three years ago, our country made a commitment that no child would be left behind. Today's Report Card is proof that No Child Left Behind is working-it is helping to raise the achievement of young students of every race and from every type of family background. And the achievement gap that has persisted for decades in the younger years between minorities and whites has shrunk to its smallest size in history.

More than half of the progress in reading for 9-year olds during the Report Card's entire history has been made in the last five years. It is not a coincidence that progress accelerated so dramatically during this time period. The results are a tribute to students, teachers, parents, principals, school administrators, and state and national policymakers.

So I am pleased with today's results, but in no way completely satisfied. We are at the beginning of the journey and certainly have room for improvement, particularly at the high school level. We must support older students with the same can-do attitude that helped their younger brothers and sisters.

Changing the direction of America's schools is like turning the Queen Mary, a large ship whose captain can't change course on a dime. The goal requires a lot of time and effort, but we are beginning to turn our own Queen Mary around. I know we can continue to do it together-teachers, principals, parents-so that all children receive the quality education a nation such as ours is capable of providing.

Full results of the Long-Term Trend NAEP can be found at: nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard

— Press Release
U. S. Department of Education


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