Texas’ elementary and middle school students still lag in reading, according to a national report card out Wednesday.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, given every other year to a sample fourth- and eighth-grade students in reading and math, measures how states’ students are performing over time compared with a national average. This year, Texas’ fourth-grade math and reading scores stayed stagnant; eighth-grade scores stayed the same in math and dipped significantly in reading.

White students in Texas are still outperforming black and Hispanic students in these tests. Texas generally scores toward the middle or bottom compared with other states.

An analysis from the Urban Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., shows Texas ranks higher when accounting for its relatively large number of low-income students, students of color, and students learning English.

The entire nation saw a slump in test scores this year, leading U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to call the results “devastating” in a statement this morning. She used the results to highlight her focus on school choice policies that help students “escape failing schools.”

“By expanding education freedom, students can break out of the one-size-fits all system and learn in the ways that will unlock their full potential,” she said in the statement.

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Aliyya Swaby, The Texas Tribune

Aliyya Swaby started as the Texas Tribune's public education reporter in October 2016. She came to the Tribune from the hyperlocal nonprofit New Haven Independent, where she covered education, zoning,...