Statement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on NAEP Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics National and Pilot State Results

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics National and Pilot State Results, which the National Center for Education Statistics released today:

“Today’s report suggests that high school seniors’ achievement in reading and math isn’t rising fast enough to prepare them to succeed in college and careers. Reading results have improved since 2005, but are still below the level of 1992. Math scores also show only incremental gains over four years ago.

“President Obama has set a goal that the United States once again will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the end of the decade. In a survey that accompanied the NAEP test, 86 percent of seniors said they expect to graduate college.

“They’ll only succeed if we challenge and support them to raise their academic performance and offer them the financial support they need to pay for college. The Obama administration is providing $40 billion over the next decade in Pell Grants for disadvantaged students. We are supporting states as they work together to raise standards to match college and career expectations. We have invested in states’ efforts to create data systems to ensure teachers and parents have the information they need to know how their students and schools are doing.

“With these supports and a commitment to challenging the status quo, we’re confident we’ll meet the President’s goal and provide our students with the education that meets their aspiration to complete college.”


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Community Colleges Must Focus on Quality of Learning

Increasing college completion is meaningless unless certificates and degrees represent real learning, which community colleges must work harder to ensure, says a report released on Thursday by the Center for Community College Student Engagement.

While national education goals prioritize attainment, community colleges must focus on quality, says the annual report, which is based on focus groups and data from three surveys: the 2010 Community College Survey of Student Engagement, the 2010 Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement, and the 2009 Survey of Entering Student Engagement, which polled students in their first few weeks of enrollment last fall.

This year’s report, “The Heart of Student Success: Teaching, Learning, and College Completion,” centers on “deep learning,” or “broadly applicable thinking, reasoning, and judgment skills—abilities that allow individuals to apply information, develop a coherent world view, and interact in more meaningful ways.” By some measures, students are doing well.

Read more or download the report.