I get so tired of reading about the “decline” and “failure” of American education.

It is not true.

A reader wrote the other day to say that NAEP scores in reading have been flat since 1971. She read it somewhere.

I went to the NAEP reports, the ones produced by the federal government, and here are the facts about NAEP reading.

Sources:” The Nation’s Report Card Reading 2011″; “The Nation’s Report Card Mathematics 2011″; both printed in Washington, D.C., by U.S. Department of Education. Also “The Nation’s Report Card: Trends in Academic Progress, Reading 1971-2008, Mathematics 1973-2008″

Share them:

On the long-term trend NAEP, which goes from 1971-2008:
White students age 17 gained 4 points from 1971-2008
Black students age 17 gained 28 points from 1971-2008
Hispanic students age 17 gained 17 points from 1971-20082008 is last date that long-term NAEP was given.

There is also Main NAEP, which has been given since 1992.

Only given to 4th and 8th grade, not to 17-year olds.
Improvement for all groups in this 20 year period, from 1992-2011.
Whites in 4th grade: % below basic dropped from 29% to 22%
Blacks in 4th grade: % below basic dropped from 68% to 51%
Hispanics: 4th grade: % below basic dropped from 62% to 49%.

Don’t believe everything you read. I am quoting from government documents.

The gains on NAEP reading are incremental but significant.

The gains on NAEP math are dramatic.

Reading changes more slowly than math, because math is taught in school, and reading reflects both home and school.