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Slow Progress in Reaching Goals for 2000 Reported

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With three years to go before the new millennium, America's schools are still showing slow progress in reaching the educational benchmarks established in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, a report released last week says.

While the proportion of the nation's children born with health risks has dropped since the goals were adopted in 1990 and the Goals 2000 law was enacted in 1994, there has been no significant parallel change in high school completion rates or most indicators of student achievement, notes the report from the federal National Education Goals Panel.

Moreover, the gap in achievement for white and minority children as defined by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, continues to widen.

"Building a Nation of Learners, 1996" reports that national school performance has improved significantly in five core areas, worsened in eight, and remained unchanged in 10 others.

Among the encouraging news, however, 22 states met the goal of graduating 90 percent of their high school students in 1994; 8th graders' performance on the NAEP mathematics tests improved in eight states; and, in at least nine states, more students are enrolling in college.

The annual report also highlights a greater incidence of drug use among students since last year and more threats or injuries to teachers since 1991.

The national goals state that, by 2000: All children will start school ready to learn; the high school graduation rate will increase to 90 percent; students in grades 4, 8, and 12 will demonstrate competency in nine core academic areas; teachers will have access to continual professional-development opportunities; the United States will be first in international comparisons of math and science achievement; adult literacy will be universal; schools will be free of drugs and violence; and all schools will increase parent involvement.

The 18-member, bipartisan goals panel monitors progress toward the goals.

For More Information:

Copies of the 1996 goals panel report and an executive summary are available free from the National Education Goals Panel, 1255 22nd St., N.W. Suite 502, Washington, D.C. 20037; fax: (202) 632-0957; email:

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