WILMINGTON, DE - Senator Thomas R. Carper pointed to recent improvements in Delaware's student testing results as an indication that bipartisan education reforms implemented in Delaware in the last decade are making some progress. By increasing its commitment to public and early childhood education, the federal government can better help Delaware students reach higher levels of achievement. "I've said before that setting our schools on the right path is like changing the direction of an aircraft carrier â€“ it takes time, patience, and commitment. For Delaware's education system, our ship is turning in the right direction. Raising student achievement is a slow process, but we are clearly making progress," Carper said. "On the other hand, the federal government needs to be a better partner to our state, and it will. Once signed into law, the federal education bill we have been debating will provide more resources, more flexibly, to help Delaware raise student achievement even further." Carper, who instituted statewide public school choice and the state's comprehensive system of standardized testing and accountability during his time as Governor of Delaware, noted that this year's national percentile rankings in reading and math are the state's highest ever. For the first time, Delaware ranks above the national average for math in every grade tested and above the national average in reading for grades three, five, and eight. Tenth grade reading scores fall just below, at 46 percent. "The bipartisan education reforms we implemented in Delaware serve as a model for the education debate we are having in Washington. Delaware's students and teachers should be pleased," Carper said. "This is not the time to declare victory. This is the time to applaud the improvements that are reflected in this year's test scores, even while we redouble our efforts to bring about improvements in areas where it is still needed."