American students scored in the top four nations in terms of reading literacy on the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), posting a 16 point increase (from 540 to 556) since 2006. The gains made by American students also outpace the gains made by the nations that the United States currently trails on the reading measure (Finland, Russia, and Singapore). The marked improvements reversed a disturbing trend from the 2006 exam where American students’ scores declined by two points from 2001 to 2006. Gaps in achievement are still persistent, particularly for low income students, and much more needs to be done to get American education on par with the top nations in the world. But this improvement shows that targeted efforts to improve literacy in the early years across the nation are having the intended impact.