NEW YORK - (AP) - A national evaluation known as the "nation'sreport card" shows that New York City's fourth-grade readingscores have improved but eighth-grade reading scores remainstubbornly low.

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress,about 29 percent of fourth-graders in the city's public schoolspassed a nationally administered reading test last year.

That's up from 25 percent in 2007 and 19 percent in 2002.

But only 22 percent of city eighth-graders were proficient inreading, the same percentage as in 2003.

Black and lower-income fourth-graders did better in New YorkCity than in other large cities where students took the test.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the scores "encouraging," buthe said there is a lot more work to do.