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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 4, 1999


Today's release of state-by-state National Assessment of Education Progress scores is evidence that our efforts to raise academic standards have begun to pay off. Many states have shown significant improvement in reading in the last four years, and some states that had scores well below the national average have made the greatest gains. But much remains to be done to ensure that every child in America is mastering the basics. That is why I urge the Senate to vote this week to continue funding for 100,000 new, well-prepared teachers to reduce class size in the early grades. Parents and teachers across the country know that smaller classes lead to improved student performance in reading and other basic skills. We should grasp this opportunity to build on the gains we have made, so that every child in America is prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.