In 2009, White students at grade 12 scored 27 points higher in reading than Black students and 22 points higher than Hispanic students. Neither score gap was significantly different from the respective score gaps in previous assessment years.
In 2009 and in all previous assessment years since 1992, the average National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scale scores of White 4th-, 8th-, and 12th-grade students were higher than their Black and Hispanic peers' scores. This disparity is known as an achievement gap—in NAEP reading scores, the achievement gap is seen by the differences between the average scores of two student subgroups on the standardized assessment. In 2009, the average reading score of Black 4th-grade students was less than that of White 4th-grade students by 26 points; this gap was not measurably different from the gap in 2007, but it was smaller than the gaps in all other assessment years prior to 2007 (see table A-11-1). The reading achievement gap between Hispanic and White 4th-grade students in 2009 (-25 points) was not measurably different from the gaps in 2007 or 1992.
Scores of White, Black, and Hispanic 8th-grade students have all increased from 1992, yet neither the 2009 reading achievement gap between Black and White 8th-grade students (-26 points) nor the gap between Hispanic and White 8th-grade students (-24 points) was measurably different from the corresponding gaps in 2007 and 1992. In 2009, White students at grade 12 scored 27 points higher in reading than Black students and 22 points higher than Hispanic students. Neither score gap was measurably different from the respective score gaps in previous assessment years.
In 2009, female 4th-grade students scored 7 points higher, on average, than male students. This difference was not measurably different from the gaps in 2007 or 1992. Scores for female 8th-grade students in 2009 were not measurably different than their scores in 2007 or 1992, while male 8th-grade students' average reading score in 2009 was higher than their scores in either of the other two years. The reading score difference between male and female 8th-grade students in 2009 (-9 points) was not measurably different from the difference seen in 2007, but it was smaller than the difference seen in 1992 (-13 points). Average reading scores for both male and female 12th-grade students were lower in 2009 than in 1992. Female students scored 12 points higher on average than male students in 2009, not measurably different from the differences in 2005 or 1992.
In 2009, achievement gaps between students in schools with high percentages of low-income students and students in schools with low percentages of such students existed at all three grade levels (see table A-11-2). For this indicator, students are identified as attending schools with high percentages of low-income students if more than 75 percent of the students in the school are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Students are identified as attending schools with low percentages of low-income students if 25 percent or fewer of the students in the school are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. In 2009, the low-income gap for grade 4 was not measurably different from the gap in 2007 but was smaller than gaps in all years prior to 2007. In grade 8, there were no measurable differences in the 2009 low-income gap and gaps in previous assessment years. In 2009, the low-income gap at grade 12 was larger than gaps reported in all previous assessments.
NAEP reading scores range from 0 to 500. Score gaps are calculated based on differences between unrounded scores. Testing accommodations for children with disabilities and English language learners were not permitted in 1992 and 1994; students were tested with and without accommodations in 1998 and 2000. The 12th-grade NAEP reading assessment was not administered in 2000, 2003, or 2007. For more information on race/ethnicity, see supplemental note 1. For more information on NAEP, see supplemental note 4.
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