How is America doing, educationally? Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), or the Nation’s Report Card. So what’s the verdict? Things are getting better, slowly.

“The 2013 NAEP report card provides encouraging but modest signs of progress in reading and math for U.S. students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a press release. “In 2013, reading and math scores edged up nationally to new highs for fourth and eighth graders. It is particularly heartening that reading scores for eighth graders are up, after remaining relatively flat for the past decade.”

From 2011 to 2013, Tennessee, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii made “noteworthy gains” in reading and/or math for fourth and eighth graders. Duncan also reported that all eight states that implemented the new Common Core State Standards saw an increase in either reading or math between 2009 and 2013, with none of them declining in either area.

But, Duncan also notes, the progress is modest and students the United States are still far behind other top-performing nations’ students. Additionally, there are still significant achievement gaps between white and black students and white and Hispanic students—and those gaps didn’t narrow between 2011 and 2013.

“If America’s students are to remain competitive in a knowledge-based economy, our public schools must greatly accelerate the rate of progress of the last four years and do more to narrow America’s large achievement gaps,” Duncan added. “It is an urgent moral and economic imperative that our schools do a better job of preparing students for today’s globally-competitive world.”

How did your state do? Check out the full report here.

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