Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Table 137. Average U.S. history scale score, standard deviation, and percentage of students attaining U.S. history achievement levels, by grade level, selected student characteristics, and percentile: Selected years, 1994 through 2010
Selected student characteristic 4th-graders 8th-graders 12th-graders
19941 2001 2006 2010 19941 2001 2006 2010 19941 2001 2006 2010
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Average U.S. history scale score2 
All students 205 (1.0) 208 (0.9) 211 (1.1) 214 (0.8) 259 (0.6) 260 (0.8) 263 (0.8) 266 (0.8) 286 (0.8) 287 (0.9) 290 (0.7) 288 (0.8)
Sex                                                
Male 203 (1.5) 207 (1.1) 211 (1.2) 215 (1.0) 259 (0.8) 261 (0.9) 264 (0.9) 268 (0.8) 288 (0.8) 288 (1.1) 292 (0.9) 290 (0.8)
Female 206 (1.1) 209 (1.2) 211 (1.1) 213 (0.9) 259 (0.7) 260 (0.9) 261 (0.8) 263 (0.8) 285 (0.9) 286 (0.9) 288 (0.8) 286 (1.0)
                                               
Race/ethnicity                                                
White 214 (1.3) 217 (1.3) 223 (1.1) 224 (1.1) 266 (0.8) 268 (0.9) 273 (0.6) 274 (0.7) 292 (0.8) 292 (1.0) 297 (0.8) 296 (0.7)
Black 176 (1.6) 186 (2.0) 191 (1.9) 198 (1.9) 238 (1.6) 240 (1.9) 244 (1.2) 250 (1.1) 265 (1.5) 267 (1.4) 270 (1.3) 268 (1.5)
Hispanic 175 (2.6) 184 (2.6) 194 (1.9) 198 (1.2) 243 (1.4) 240 (2.0) 248 (1.2) 252 (1.0) 267 (1.7) 271 (1.9) 275 (1.0) 275 (1.3)
Asian/Pacific Islander 204 (3.6) 216 (3.7) 214 (5.1) 221 (2.4) 261 (5.0) 264 (2.8) 270 (3.0) 275 (1.8) 283 (3.5) 294 (6.0) 296 (2.6) 293 (2.5)
American Indian/Alaska Native (†) (†) 190 (5.9) 193 (6.2) 245 (3.4) 255 (4.4) 244 (6.3) 259 (5.0) 272 (3.0) 283 (4.2) 278 (4.1) 278 (4.2)
                                               
Parents' highest level                                                
of education                                                
Did not finish high school (†) (†) (†) (†) 241 (1.3) 241 (2.8) 244 (1.2) 249 (0.9) 263 (1.4) 266 (1.6) 268 (1.3) 268 (1.7)
Graduated high school (†) (†) (†) (†) 251 (0.8) 251 (1.0) 252 (1.3) 255 (0.9) 276 (1.1) 274 (1.1) 278 (1.0) 277 (1.0)
Some education after high school (†) (†) (†) (†) 264 (0.8) 264 (1.0) 265 (0.9) 267 (0.9) 287 (1.2) 286 (0.8) 290 (0.8) 286 (0.8)
Graduated college (†) (†) (†) (†) 270 (0.8) 273 (0.9) 274 (0.8) 276 (0.8) 296 (0.9) 298 (1.2) 300 (0.8) 298 (0.8)
                                               
Eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch                                                
Eligible (†) 188 (1.4) 195 (1.1) 199 (0.9) (†) 242 (1.3) 247 (1.1) 253 (0.7) (†) 269 (1.4) 273 (1.0) 273 (1.0)
Not eligible (†) 219 (1.4) 224 (1.0) 227 (0.8) (†) 267 (1.1) 273 (0.7) 275 (0.8) (†) 289 (1.2) 295 (0.8) 294 (0.7)
Unknown (†) 217 (2.8) 227 (3.9) 225 (6.1) (†) 266 (2.0) 281 (2.7) 278 (2.0) (†) 294 (2.1) 300 (2.4) 300 (2.5)
                                               
Percentile3                                                
10th 147 (2.1) 157 (1.4) 165 (2.3) 169 (1.4) 217 (1.1) 216 (1.3) 221 (1.4) 227 (1.2) 243 (1.2) 244 (1.2) 249 (1.3) 246 (1.3)
25th 180 (1.5) 184 (1.4) 189 (1.3) 192 (1.6) 239 (0.9) 239 (0.9) 243 (0.9) 246 (0.9) 265 (1.2) 266 (1.1) 270 (1.0) 267 (1.3)
50th 210 (0.9) 211 (1.1) 213 (1.0) 216 (0.6) 261 (1.1) 262 (1.1) 265 (0.7) 267 (0.9) 288 (0.8) 288 (1.1) 291 (0.9) 290 (0.7)
75th 234 (1.2) 234 (1.0) 235 (1.1) 238 (0.9) 282 (0.7) 284 (1.0) 285 (0.7) 286 (0.7) 309 (0.9) 309 (1.0) 312 (0.7) 311 (0.6)
90th 253 (1.4) 254 (1.4) 254 (1.0) 256 (1.4) 299 (0.6) 302 (0.7) 302 (1.0) 302 (1.1) 326 (1.0) 326 (1.5) 329 (0.9) 328 (1.0)
                                               
Standard deviation of the U.S. history scale score4 
All students 41 (0.7) 38 (0.7) 34 (0.5) 34 (0.7) 32 (0.3) 33 (0.4) 32 (0.4) 29 (0.3) 32 (0.4) 32 (0.6) 31 (0.3) 32 (0.4)
                                               
Percent of students achieving U.S. history achievement levels
Achievement level                                                
Below Basic 36 (1.1) 34 (1.2) 30 (1.3) 27 (0.8) 39 (0.9) 38 (1.0) 35 (1.0) 31 (1.0) 57 (1.1) 57 (1.2) 53 (1.1) 55 (1.0)
At or above Basic5 64 (1.1) 66 (1.2) 70 (1.3) 73 (0.8) 61 (0.9) 62 (1.0) 65 (1.0) 69 (1.0) 43 (1.1) 43 (1.2) 47 (1.1) 45 (1.0)
At or above Basic by race/ethnicity                                                
White 73 (1.3) 76 (1.5) 84 (1.2) 83 (1.0) 70 (1.1) 71 (1.1) 79 (0.8) 80 (0.9) 50 (1.2) 49 (1.3) 56 (1.3) 55 (1.2)
Black 35 (1.5) 41 (2.3) 46 (2.5) 54 (2.6) 32 (2.4) 35 (2.1) 40 (1.7) 48 (2.1) 17 (1.5) 19 (1.5) 20 (1.6) 20 (1.2)
Hispanic 36 (3.2) 40 (2.8) 49 (2.7) 56 (1.6) 41 (2.2) 36 (2.6) 46 (2.2) 52 (1.7) 22 (2.4) 24 (2.3) 27 (1.4) 28 (1.4)
Asian/Pacific Islander 62 (4.3) 74 (4.5) 71 (4.8) 82 (3.1) 60 (6.9) 65 (3.0) 75 (4.4) 78 (2.1) 40 (4.7) 51 (6.7) 54 (3.5) 50 (3.2)
American Indian/Alaska Native (†) (†) 41 (7.7) 49 (5.4) 42 (6.2) 57 (6.5) 43 (6.1) 61 (6.3) 21 (6.3) 37 (7.8) 32 (7.3) 29 (5.9)
At or above Proficient6 17 (1.0) 18 (0.9) 18 (1.0) 20 (0.7) 14 (0.6) 16 (0.7) 17 (0.8) 17 (0.8) 11 (0.7) 11 (0.9) 13 (0.7) 12 (0.5)
At Advanced7 2 (0.3) 2 (0.3) 2 (0.3) 2 (0.3) 1 (0.1) 1 (0.2) 1 (0.1) 1 (0.1) 1 (0.2) 1 (0.3) 1 (0.2) 1 (0.1)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
‡Reporting standards not met (too few cases).
1 Accommodations were not permitted for this assessment.
2 Scale ranges from 0 to 500.
3 The percentile represents a specific point on the percentage distribution of all students ranked by their U.S. history score from low to high. For example, 10 percent of students scored at or below the 10th percentile score, while 90 percent of students scored above it.
4 The standard deviation provides an indication of how much the test scores varied. The lower the standard deviation, the closer the scores were clustered around the average score. About two-thirds of the student scores can be expected to fall within the range of one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below the average score. For example, the average score for all 4th-graders in 2010 was 214, and the standard deviation was 34. This means that we would expect about two-thirds of the students to have scores between 248 (one standard deviation above the average) and 180 (one standard deviation below). Standard errors also must be taken into account when making comparisons of these ranges. For a discussion of standard errors, see Appendix A: Guide to Sources.
5 Basic denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work.
6 Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.
7 Advanced signifies superior performance.
NOTE: For 2001 and later years, includes students tested with accommodations (3 to 13 percent of all students, depending on grade level and year); excludes only those students with disabilities and English language learners who were unable to be tested even with accommodations (2 to 3 percent of all students). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Standard errors appear in parentheses.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1994, 2001, 2006, and 2010 U.S. History Assessments, retrieved June 27, 2010, from the Main NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared June 2011.)
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education