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What will it take to address the gap between Black and White fourth graders in America who can read at their grade level? Dr. Valerie Rawlston Wilson of the Economic Policy Institute and Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, sat down with Shannon LaNier of Arise TV to discuss findings from the National Urban League‘s 2015 State of Black America report.

According to the report, Washington, D.C. is home to the largest Grade 4 reading proficiency gap. Among D.C. 4th graders, 14.7 percent of Blacks, 76.6 percent of Whites and 22.8 percent of Hispanic students tested at or above proficient in reading. The smallest Black-White reading proficiency gap was in Hawaii, where the index was 81 percent.

Morial said the proficiency gap between White, Black, and Hispanic students reveals “a crisis for the nation,” especially since, “While White kids are maybe doing better than Black and Latino kids, those White kids are not proficient themselves,” said Morial.

In order to reverse the aforementioned statistics, the National Urban League has “encouraged Congress, the federal government, governors to not cut funding to education, to maintain accountability standards,” he explained.

He also advocated investing in early childhood education, longer school days, a longer school year and developing better teachers.

Watch Morial and Rawlston discuss the educational achievement gap in the video above.

For more information about the State of Black America Report visit or use the hashtag #SaveOurCities.