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12th-graders' scores up in math and reading

By Sally Holland, CNN
  • In reading, 12th-graders test better than in 2005, but not as well as 1992
  • While overall reading scores rose, they stayed level for black, Hispanic, female students
  • Math scores improved over 2005 for all groups
  • Department of Education issued "The Nation's Report Card" on Thursday

Washington (CNN) -- Reading and math scores were up for 12th-graders in the U.S. in 2009 compared to four years earlier, according to "The Nation's Report Card," an assessment of educational progress done by the Department of Education.

The average reading scores beat the 2005 numbers, but they still fell below similar scores for 12th-graders in 1992.

In math, the report compared scores only back to 2005, because the assessment framework was changed during the 2009 test year, making it an unequal comparison to results from before 2005.

Math scores were up in the four-year comparison for all racial and ethnic groups and for both male and female students.

In reading, although the overall score was up, black, Hispanic, and female students on average tested about the same as they did in 2005. Male students and white students accounted for the increase in the reading scores.

The complete report can be found at