New test scores show Minnesota students are still above the national average in reading, but there's still a wide gap between how well white students perform compared with students of color.
The results from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test showed Minnesota fourth graders had an average score of 223 out of 500.
That beat the national average of 220. Eighth graders posted a score of 270, higher than the national average of 262.
Fewer than six states posted significantly higher scores than Minnesota on either test.
Education Commissioner Alice Seagren says she's pleased Minnesota students scored above the national average, but she also notes the state scores are mostly flat from two years ago.
"It's a good news, bad news story. Our achievement gap remains very wide and I'm not pleased with that," Seagren.
The largest gap was in fourth grade, where white students scored an average of 230 out of 500 on the test compared to 194 for Hispanics.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)