BOISE, Idaho (AP) — New national testing data shows the percentage of Idaho eighth-graders who are proficient or better in reading skills exceeds the national average.

The testing results are included in the 2013 Nation's Report Card released Thursday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Results show about 38 percent of Idaho eight-graders tested proficient or above in reading, topping the national average of 34 percent and comparable with 17 other states. Eight-graders also fared above average in math.

But results showed Idaho fourth-graders scoring slightly below average in reading and math.

Idaho Public Schools Chief Tom Luna hailed the results, saying it shows the state's focus in those areas is paying dividends.

The NAEP is given every two years to a sample of fourth and eighth graders across the nation.

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