The nation’s 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds are posting better scores in math and reading tests than their counterparts did 40 years ago, and the achievement gap between white students and those of color still persists but is narrowing, according to new federal government data released Thursday.
The scores, collected regularly since the 1970s from federal tests administered to public and private school students age 9, 13, and 17, paint a picture of steady student achievement that contradicts the popular notion that U.S. educational progress has stalled.
... the younger test-takers made significant progress, test scores of 17-year-olds remained relatively flat. But the 17-year-olds who struggle the most — those in the bottom percentiles — did show gains in 2012 compared with 40 years ago.
[they'd better - 40 years ago, algebra was a college topic, now every jr high school student is supposed to at least take some form of algebra]