Educational standards vary across nation

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June 7, 2007

Georgia and South Carolina's standards vary greatly when it comes to judging a child's progress in school.

An education department survey out today says there are vast differences state-to-state. For example, a reading score that is "proficient" in Mississippi can be considered failing in Massachusetts. The study also suggests most state standards fall below federal standards when it comes to reading and math comprehension.

Here's a look at Georgia and South Carolina 4th grade reading scores:

Using Georgia's standards, 87 percent of our kids pass, but when using national standards, just 26 percent of Georgia children pass. That shows national standards are much, much tougher than Georgia standards.

It's just the opposite in South Carolina, where standards are much tougher, but achievement is just as low. 35 percent of South Carolina's 4th graders pass state standards, and 26 percent of South Carolina 4th graders pass national standards in reading.

The study, which is the first-ever federal comparison of state educational standards, is likely to touch off more debate over No Child Left Behind. The five-year-old law uses state exams to judge if schools are making the grade.

The law is up for renewal this year.

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