The 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that there has been little or no improvement among American school students in mathematics and reading skills over the past year.

Released April 10, the assessment, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, was based on tests of students across the United States which were organized by the Department of Education.

The report noted that only about one-third of 8th grade students, generally 13-14-year-olds, were considered proficient in reading and math.

Proficiency was defined by the Department of Education as “solid academic performance.” Students considered proficient possess a good knowledge of the subject and can use that knowledge in real-world situations. Such students are also capable of using analytical skills related to the subject.

Approximately 40 percent of 4th graders were found to be proficient in reading and math. Only 25 percent of 12th grade students were proficient in math, although 37 percent had achieved proficiency in reading.

According to VOA Learning English, 38 percent of 4th graders were rated proficient in science, while approximately 34 percent of 8th graders demonstrated proficiency.

The results noted in the latest report were similar to those found in recent years.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a statement regarding the report, noting that “The Report Card is in, and the results are clear: We can and we must do better for America’s students. Our nation’s reading and math scores continue to stagnate.”

DeVos indicated concern regarding the major differences found between the highest and lowest performing students, with differences widening, despite billions of dollars being spent in an effort to reduce the gap.

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