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The Nation’s Report Card:
Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics 2009 National and Pilot State Results

November 2010

Author: National Center for Education Statistics

PDF Download The Nation’s Report Card: Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics 2009 National and Pilot State Results PDF for viewing and printing (12274K PDF)


Cover of The Nation’s Report Card: Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics 2009 National and Pilot State Results report.

Executive Summary

Twelfth-graders’ performance in reading and mathematics improves since 2005

Some student groups make gains since 2005, but gaps in achievement persist

Results for public school students in 11 states available for the first time

Twelfth-graders’ performance in reading and mathematics improves since 2005

Nationally representative samples of twelfth-graders from 1,670 public and private schools across the nation participated in the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Approximately 52,000 students were assessed in reading, and 49,000 students were assessed in mathematics. National reading results from the 2009 assessment are compared to results from five earlier assessment years going back to 1992. The 2009 mathematics results are compared to those from 2005 when a change in the mathematics framework for the assessment necessitated a new trend line for that subject at grade 12.

State results in NAEP reading and mathematics are reported for twelfth-grade public school students in 11 states. These states volunteered to participate in the twelfth-grade state pilot program in 2009.

Reading results were based on students’ responses to questions designed to measure reading comprehension across two types of texts: literary and informational. The average reading score in 2009 was higher than in 2005 but lower than in 1992. Thirty-eight percent of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in reading in 2009, which was higher than the percentage in 2005, but not significantly different from the percentages in other earlier assessment years. The percentage of students performing at or above Basic (74 percent) in 2009 was not significantly different from 2005 and was lower than in 1992.

Trend in twelfth-grade NAEP reading average scale scores

Graphic showing NAEP reading results for grade 12 students. Students that were assessed without accommodations in 1992 scored 292 which was significantly different from 2009, in 1994 scored 287, and in 1998 scored 291 which was significantly different from 2009. Student that were assessed with accommodations in 1998 scored 290 which was significantly different from 2009, in 2002 scored 287, in 2005 scored 286 which was significantly different from 2009, and in 2009 scored 288.

* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2009.

Mathematics results were based on students’ responses to questions designed to measure their knowledge and abilities across four content areas: number properties and operations; measurement and geometry; data analysis, statistics, and probability; and algebra. The average mathematics score in 2009 was higher than in 2005, as were the percentages of students at or above Proficient (26 percent) and at or above Basic (64 percent).

Average scale scores in twelfth-grade NAEP mathematics: 2005 and 2009

Graphic showing NAEP mathematic results for grade 12 students. Students in 2005 scored 150 which was significantly different from 2009, and in 2009 scored 153.

* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2009.

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Some student groups make gains since 2005, but gaps in achievement persist

Average mathematics scores were higher in 2009 than in 2005 for twelfth-grade public and private school students overall, for all racial/ethnic groups, and for male and female students. While the overall average reading score was also higher in 2009 than in 2005, reading scores did not change significantly for Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native students, or for female students. Racial/ethnic and gender achievement gaps did not change significantly in either reading or mathematics.

In comparison to 1992, reading scores were lower in 2009 overall and for both male and female students. There were no significant changes in the reading scores for any of the racial/ethnic groups with samples large enough to report results in both years, and no significant changes in the racial/ethnic or gender achievement gaps compared to 1992.

Characteristics

Change in average reading
scale score

Change in average mathematics
scale score

Since 1992

Since 2005

Since 2005

Overall

Down

Up

Up

White

No significant difference

Up

Up

Black

No significant difference

No significant difference

Up

Hispanic

No significant difference

No significant difference

Up

Asian/Pacific Islander

No significant difference

Up

Up

American Indian/
Alaska Native

Reporting standards not met.

No significant difference

Up

Gender

Change in average reading
scale score

Change in average mathematics
scale score

Since 1992

Since 2005

Since 2005

Male                          

Down

Up

Up

Female

Down

No significant difference

Up

  

Gaps

Change in average reading
scale score

Change in average mathematics
scale score

Since 1992

Since 2005

Since 2005

White – Black            

No significant difference

No significant difference

No significant difference

White – Hispanic

No significant difference

No significant difference

No significant difference

Male – Female

No significant difference

No significant difference

No significant difference


Up Indicates the score was higher in 2009.
Down Indicates the score was lower in 2009.
No significant difference Indicates no significant change in the score or the gap in 2009.
Reporting standards not met. Reporting standards not met. Sample size insufficient to permit a reliable estimate.

NOTE: Accommodations were not permitted for the NAEP reading assessment in 1992.

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Results for public school students in 11 states available for the first time

The 2009 results from the twelfth-grade state pilot program in reading and mathematics provide a first look at the performance of public school students in the 11 states that volunteered to participate and how their performance compares to the national average for public school students. Five states had higher average scores than the nation in both reading and mathematics: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and South Dakota.

Image of a U.S. map showing 11 states that participated in the 2009 Grade 12 NAEP assessment. They are Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Compared to the nation, average reading and mathematics scale scores were

2009 scores increased in both grades.

higher in both subjects in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and South Dakota;

2009 reading scores increased at grade 4 only.

higher in reading and not significantly different in mathematics in Idaho and Illinois;

2009 reading scores decreased at grade 4 only.

higher in mathematics and not significantly different in reading in New Jersey; and

2009 reading scores increased at grade 8 only.

lower in both subjects in Arkansas, Florida, and West Virginia.

2009 reading scores showed no significant change at either grade.

State did not participate in the twelfth-grade state pilot program.

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Download the complete report in a PDF file for viewing and printing:

PDF The Nation’s Report Card: Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics 2009 National and Pilot State Results report PDF (12274K PDF)

NCES 2011-455  Ordering information

Suggested Citation
National Center for Education Statistics (2010). The Nation’s Report Card: Grade 12 Reading and Mathematics 2009 National and Pilot State Results  (NCES 2011–455). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

Browse the 2009 reading results for the nation, states, and districts.

Browse the 2009 mathematics results for the nation, states, and districts.

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Last updated 12 November 2010 (RH)

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