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Arne Duncan

Disappointing report card for fourth and eighth graders

The nation's schoolkids turned in a lackluster performance on national tests, with math scores for fourth and eighth graders declining for the first time in 25 years. Reading scores were not much better: flat for fourth graders and lower for eighth graders than two years ago.

The 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress also shows students have a ways to go to demonstrate a solid grasp or mastery of their reading and math skills, with weak levels of proficiency for both grades.

Here are some things to know:



In math, fourth-grade students had an average score of 240 points on a 500-point scale. That's down one point from 2013. For...