How are American students performing in reading?
In 2011, the average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading score for 4th-grade students (221) was not measurably different from the 2009 score (221), but it was higher than the scores on assessments between 1992 (217) and 2005 (219). For 8th-grade students, the average reading score in 2011 (265) was 1 point higher than in 2009 (264) and 5 points higher than in 1992 (260), but was not always measurably different from scores on assessments given in other years. In 2009, the average reading score for 12th-grade students (288) was 2 points higher than in 2005 (286) but 4 points lower than in 1992 (292).
NOTE: The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scale ranges from 0 to 500. Student assessments are not designed to permit comparisons across subjects or grades. Testing accommodations (e.g., extended time, small group testing) for children with disabilities and English language learners were not permitted in 1992 and 1994; students were tested with and without accommodations in 1998. The 12th-grade NAEP reading assessment was not administered in 2003, 2007, or 2011.
In 2011, the percentages of 4th-grade students performing at or above the Basic (67 percent), at or above the Proficient (34 percent), and at the Advanced (8 percent) achievement levels in reading showed no measurable change from 2009, but were higher than in 1992. Among 8th-grade students, the percentage performing at or above Basic in 2011 (76 percent) was not measurably different from that in 2009 (75 percent) but was higher than the percentage in 1992 (69 percent). A higher percentage of 8th-grade students performed at or above Proficient in 2011 (34 percent) than in 2009 (32 percent) and 1992 (29 percent). The percentage at the Advanced level in 2011 (3.4 percent) was half a percentage point higher than the percentage performing at Advanced in 2009 (2.8 percent) but was not measurably different from the percentage in 1992 (2.9 percent). Among 12th-grade students, the percentage performing at or above Basic (74 percent) in 2009 was not significantly different from the percentage in 2005 (73 percent), but was lower than the percentage in 1992 (80 percent). The percentage at or above Proficient was higher in 2009 (38 percent) than in 2005 (35 percent) but not significantly different from the percentage in 1992 (40 percent). There was no measurable change in the percentage of 12th-graders performing at Advanced from 2005 to 2009 (5 percent each), although the 2009 percentage was 1 percentage point higher than that in 1992.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). The Condition of Education 2013 (NCES 2013-037), Reading Performance .
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