U.S. students in fourth and eighth grades continue to improve in math, while their reading proficiency has remained flat, according to 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress scores released Tuesday. Forty percent of fourth-graders and 35% of eighth-graders scored proficient or above in math, higher than any other time since NAEP tests -- known as the "nation's report card" -- were first given in 1990. In reading, 34% of fourth- and eighth-graders were proficient, a trend some officials attribute to a decline in student reading outside of school.

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