From Andrew Coulson. Math and reading scores probably underestimate changes in learning (e.g. doesn't account for increased need to teach computer skills in this timeframe). But discourse on education often seems to assume the blue line is flat to down. It is interesting that among the left, this chart is proof that we need to spend more money while the exact same chart in health care (say with scores replaced by life expectancy) is proof we need to spend less money. In fact, the health care chart would look better, because at least there the key metric of quality has increased over time.
Update: Here are the life expectancy stats, showing much more progress than education (despite being suppressed by an increasing murder rate in the period -- to really make it a metric of health care you need to pull out accidents and homicides). So both health care and education spending go up a lot. Education results show no improvement. Health care results show strong improvement. But education needs more money and health care less? You'd almost think people's opinions on this were based more on feeding government run institutions and starving private ones, irregardless of results.