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Reading Scores on National Exam Decline in Half the States

White, black, Hispanic, Native American and multiracial students all lost ground

The average eighth grade reading score on a nationally representative test declined among public school students in more than half of the states, according to data released Wednesday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the Education Department.

The dismal results were part of the release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the “nation’s report card.” The test assesses a sample of fourth and eighth grade students — more than 290,000 in each subject in 2019 — every other year.

“Over the past decade, there has been no progress in either mathematics or reading performance, and the lowest-performing students are doing worse,” Peggy Carr, the associate commissioner of the center, said in a statement.

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