NBCRightNow.com - Tests results are back, and they do not look good for students.
The Nation's Report Card shows America’s high school seniors lack critical math and reading skills.
Only about one-quarter of students are performing proficiently or better in math, and just four in 10 are doing the same in reading.
Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show they are not improving, which is reinforcing concerns that large numbers of today's students are not ready for college or the workplace once they graduate high school.
One possible explanation is lower-performing students who in the past would have dropped out of school are now remaining in the group of students who take the exam, and that is lowering the scores.
In reading, the 38-percent of students performing at or above the proficient level is lower than when the assessment was first given in 1992.
Students who said they rarely or never discussing reading in class averaged lower scores than those who had classroom discussions.
A large majority reported that reading was enjoyable. Students who strongly disagreed with that idea scored much lower than those who strongly agreed.
Students who took calculus had higher math scores compared to students who had not taken a math course beyond algebra one.
Some good news though, elementary and middle school students actually improved in these subjects when they were tested, especially in math.