U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement on The Nation's Report Card: Reading and Mathematics 2011, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Grades 4 and 8:
"The modest increases in NAEP scores are reason for concern as much as optimism. While student achievement is up since 2009 in both grades in mathematics and in 8th grade reading, it's clear that achievement is not accelerating fast enough for our nation's children to compete in the knowledge economy of the 21st Century. After significant NAEP gains in the 1990s, particularly in mathematics, the 2011 results continue a pattern of modest progress.
"President Obama and I are committed to investing in education to protect teachers' jobs and help communities modernize their schools for the 21st century. Through the American Jobs Act, the President has proposed $30 billion to keep teachers in the classroom and off the unemployment line, and another $30 billion to repair and modernize schools that will upgrade science labs and create 21st Century learning environments in America's antiquated school buildings.
"Our agenda also offers flexibility from No Child Left Behind by removing barriers to reform and supporting educators who are committed to raising academic achievement.
"Enhancing education for all is the key to our nation's economic prosperity. It is time for America to renew the promise of providing all children a world-class education."