Test results: improved failure

(November 14, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- A National Assessment of Education Progress report shows Arkansas making significant gains over previous years in math, but minimal reading gains. Arkansas fourth- and eighth-graders scored below national averages in reading and math in the report released yesterday. Black students trailed white students in all areas tested. State director of accountability Charity Smith says tests scores are rising overall, but the gap between white and minority students remains. Average scores for Hispanic students were in between those of black and white students. Students eligible for federal free and reduced price lunch programs also were lower than other students in every area tested.