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Nation's Fourth-Graders Continue To Trail Nation's Fifth-Graders

WASHINGTON, DC—Data released by the National Education Association Monday showed that the wide "knowledge chasm" in American public education is showing no signs of narrowing, especially among the nation's fourth-graders, who continue to lag behind their fifth-grade counterparts by as much as one academic year.

"Despite the fact that these students are often taught in the very same school, fourth-graders exhibit inferior knowledge of such subjects as spelling, grammar, and mathematics, as well as even the most rudimentary scientific concepts," NEA spokeswoman Millicent Hoff said. "Most alarmingly, our data show that the crisis has been exactly this dire for as long as schools have kept records of children's progress."

While some education advocates say fourth- graders should be exposed to accelerated learning programs, others claim such actions would be futile, as fourth-graders are often little diaper-babies who are too dumb to do the same things as the big kids.

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