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Few Bright Lights in New NAEP Results

The 2013 NAEP scores are out, and they're predictably unsurprising: The nation's 4th and 8th graders are making only modest progress in math and reading. And there's been no headway in easing racial, ethnic, and gender achievement disparities in the past two years either, based on the new data.

Overall, scores edged up 1 point in math at both grade levels on a 500-point scale, and 1 point in reading in 4th grade. But there is a nice little surprise in the mix: 8th graders, who've turned in unimpressive reading performances in recent years, gained three points on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

A few jurisdictions, too, soared over the rest: The District of Columbia, Tennessee, and U.S. Department of Defense schools showed big gains since the last time the tests were given in 2011.

Hawaii did well, too, with 4-point gains in math at both grade levels, and smaller ones in reading. Check our story for all the details.

Since NAEP results are now interactive online, with tons of customizable reports possible, there is much to dig into. One area to explore: Who doesn't get to take the NAEP tests. The National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP, has been pushing in the last few years for states to bring down their "exclusion" rates for students with disabilities and those learning English. There's been some progress, but some states still have pretty high numbers. We discuss this in our story, but massive data tables on this stuff are available on the NAEP website.

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