The redoubtable Paul Barton, formerly of the Educational Testing Service,  prepared this March 2001 report for the National Education Goals Panel. Based on NAEP data, it seeks to track and explain state-level performance trends. He's done some interesting "quartile analysis" as well as taken a close look at minority/white achievement gaps. Three sentences from his executive summary are worth repeating: "States are generally making more progress in mathematics achievement than in reading....Good readers are getting better at the same time weak readers are losing ground....States have not generally reduced the achievement gap between top and bottom quartiles or between white and minority students." There's lots of useful state specific data, too, in which you'll find nuggets of important information. (For example, between 1992 and 1996, just two states - Georgia and Massachusetts - narrowed the white-minority gap in 4th grade math.) If you'd like your own copy, contact the Goals Panel at (202) 724-0015, surf to or e-mail [email protected].

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