Reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have risen among elementary- and middle-school students since the early 1970s, with Hispanic and African-American students making the most rapid progress, according to data released Thursday. Data also show that scores among high-school students have largely remained flat -- a trend that David Pinder, principal at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C., attributes to a demographic shift in which fewer students enter technical schools and more are taking the tests.

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