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The vigilante accused of holding migrants at border to appear in court today. Also on our Monday rundown: The US Supreme Court takes up including citizenship questions on the next census this week. Plus, Earth Day finds oceans becoming plastic soup.

Daily Newscasts

MA High School Seniors at the Top of the Class

November 19, 2010

BOSTON - High school seniors in the Bay State are at the top of the class when it comes to English and math, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), which just released the nation's test scores. Massachusetts was one of 11 states to participate in the pilot program, and this is the first time they looked at the 12th grade with state-specific results.

President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association Paul Toner explains.

"We've been number one for the past three years at the fourth and eighth grade levels, and to be number one at the 12th grade level is just a another wonderful compliment to our teachers our students and their families for all the hard work that they do every day in their classrooms."

More than 6,000 public school students from 94 high schools in Massachusetts participated in the exams. Massachusetts also ranked or tied for first in math and English in both fourth and eighth grades for 2009.

Toner attributes the state's consistent high rankings with dedicated teachers, as well as parents who are engaged with their children's education. The test did show weakness when it came to some African-American, Latino and lower-income students.

"And that's something that teachers, parents, the government, our schools, administrators and community organizations all have to be focused on to try and close those achievement gaps."

A total of 46 percent of kids tested in Massachusetts scored proficient or higher in reading, compared to 37 percent for the nation.

"The Nation's Report Card" is available at

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA