If NAEP results offer any valid measure, black students actually are showing strong progress in a system that's supposedly failing them, the Economic Policy Institute reports in a release titled "Significant gains in educational achievement by blacks go underappreciated."
Just look at fourth-grade math.
In 1990, the average score for white kids was 220, and for black kids it was 188 - that's a 32-point divide. In 2007, the average score for white fourth-graders was 248, and for black students it was 222 - a 26-point gap.
Even more noteworthy, the EPI points out, the black students' average score rose by 34 points - that's larger than the 1990 gap. And the trend is much the same for eighth graders.
"Educators and policy makers should celebrate these gains in academic performance by blacks and build on this success to improve performance in reading and further narrow the racial gaps," EPI economist Joydeep Roy concludes.