Less than two-fifths of Virginia's fourth- and eighth-graders have a solid grasp of reading, and less than half have a solid grasp of math. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, called "the nation's report card," are considered the best gauge of public schools' student performance in core subjects.
Even so, Virginia's scores in reading and mathematics remain higher than nationwide averages, and the percentage of "proficient or advanced" students is rising.
Results show 36 percent of public school eighth-graders achieved "proficient'' reading scores in 2011, up slightly from 32 percent in 2009. Among fourth-graders, 39 percent achieved proficient scores, compared to 38 percent in 2009.
In math, 40 percent of eighth-graders achieved "proficient'' scores in 2011, up from 36 percent in 2009. Forty-six percent of fourth-graders performed at the proficient level, compared to 43 percent in 2009.