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Wisconsin fourth- and eighth-graders are scoring at and above national averages in reading and math, according to results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests released Thursday, but the results also showed the state’s achievement gap is the highest of all 50 states.

While the gap between black and white students in the District of Columbia was the highest in the country, Wisconsin’s gap is the highest in each of the four areas tested among states, according to the NAEP testing data.

About 6.5 percent of Wisconsin’s fourth- and eighth-grade students took the test early this year, according to Department of Public Instruction spokesman Patrick Gasper.

The achievement gap between black and white Wisconsin students is “unacceptably high,” DPI said. Wisconsin’s black students’ average scores were some of the lowest in the country.

Overall, in math, fourth-graders scored an average of 245. The nation’s average was 241. In reading, Wisconsin fourth-graders scored the nation’s average of 221.

Eighth-graders scored slightly higher, with an average score in math of 289 and 268 in reading. The nation’s average scores were 284 in math and 266 in reading.

The NAEP tests fourth- and eighth-graders in various subjects every two years. About 4,100 Wisconsin fourth-graders

and 3,900 eighth-graders were tested in reading. One hundred fewer in each grade were tested in math.

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