Feb. 23, 2007 -- A national study released this week showing weaknesses in reading and math among high school students confirms that younger employees are ill-prepared for the workforce, the Conference Board said Friday.

The study, which was released on Thursday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress and analyzed the grades of more than 21,000 high school seniors in 2005, found that reading scores among grade 12 students were the lowest in more than a decade, while fewer than a quarter scored above the proficiency level in math.

"On the surface, these results provide little comfort and seem to confirm the general concern about the performance of America's high school students," Darvin Winick, the chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, said in a statement.   

A survey released last fall by the Conference Board, among other groups, found that a majority of employers nationwide reported younger hires were increasingly unable to perform many workplace tasks.

"These numbers perfectly book-end the rating of employers last fall," Linda Barrington, the Conference Board's research director, said in a statement.

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Published on: Feb 23, 2007