What are the long-term trends in student achievement in reading and mathematics?
Reported on a scale of 0 to 500, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend results in reading are available for 12 assessment years going back to the first in 1971. The average reading score for 9-year-olds was higher in 2008 than in all previous assessment years, increasing 4 points since 2004 and 12 points in comparison to 1971. While the average score for 13-year-olds in 2008 was higher than in both 2004 and 1971, it was not significantly different from the scores in some assessment years in between. The average reading score for 17-year-olds was higher in 2008 than in 2004 but was not significantly different from the score in 1971. White, Black, and Hispanic 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds all had higher average reading scores in 2008 than they did in the first assessment year (which is 1975 for Hispanic students because separate data for Hispanics were not collected in 1971). In 2008, female students continued to have higher average reading scores than male students at all three ages.
NAEP long-term trend mathematics results, reported on a scale of 0 to 500, are available for 11 assessment years, going back to the first in 1973. Average mathematics scores for 9- and 13-year-olds were higher in 2008 than in all previous assessment years. The average score for 9- year-olds in 2008 was 4 points higher than in 2004 and 24 points higher than in 1973. For 13-year-olds, the average score in 2008 was 3 points higher than in 2004 (based on unrounded scores) and 15 points higher than in 1973. In contrast, the average score for 17-year-olds in 2008 was not significantly different from the scores in 2004 and 1973. White, Black, and Hispanic 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds all had higher average mathematics scores in 2008 than in 1973. While there was no significant difference between the average mathematics scores of male and female 9-year-olds in 2008, male students did score higher than female students at ages 13 and 17.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). Digest of Education Statistics, 2010 (NCES 2011-015), Chapter 2.
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