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Report: Minnesota students above average

New scores on a national test of math and reading skills show Minnesota students remain above average, but several other states are pulling ahead.

Meanwhile, the scores showed fourth and eighth grade students in Wisconsin performed slightly above the national average in math and reading.

The scores released today come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called "The Nation's Report Card." It tests academic achievement of the nation's fourth and eighth graders.

The Minnesota Department of Education says the state's students once again beat the national average, although the scores were about flat compared to the 2009 test.

However, the gap between Minnesota students and the nation's best grew. For example, the number of states with significantly higher scores than Minnesota increased in three of the four categories.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says the results should reinforce the sense of urgency for improving education in the state.

In Wisconsin, results show math and reading skills for fourth and eighth graders in Wisconsin remained relatively the same from the last time the test was administered in 2009. In a state-by-state comparison, Wisconsin's overall math score for fourth-graders is higher than 30 states. At grade eight, the average math score is higher than 29 states.

Fourth-grade reading scores were higher than 15 states and higher than 20 states for grade eight. State Superintendent Tony Evers said there's clearly more room for improvement.

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