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Which states have the highest standards for students?

Each state comes up with its own standards for student achievement. A new study from the National Center on Education Statistics compares them. Here are the top and bottom five.

A young boy sits and reads his book.

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Which states have set a high bar for their students – and which states have low expectations?

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, each state comes up with its own standards for student achievement. A new study from the National Center on Education Statistics compares these standards.

According to the study, the states that set the highest standards for fourth-grade reading proficiency in 2007 are:

1. Massachusetts

2. Missouri

3. South Carolina

4. Minnesota

5. (tie) Maine

5. (tie) Vermont

And the bottom five are:

48. Mississippi

47. Oklahoma

46. Tennessee

45. Michigan

44. Alabama

The list goes to only 48 because two states – Nebraska and Utah – did not have data available.

The study also looked at standards for eighth-grade reading proficiency. South Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, and Vermont are in the top five, as they were for fourth grade. But Massachusetts, which was No. 1 in the list above, dropped to No. 10 for eighth grade. And Florida moved up to the fifth spot.

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