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Table 124. Average reading scale score, by age and selected student and school characteristics: Selected years, 1971 through 2008
Selected student and
school characteristic
1971 1975 1980 1984 1988 1990 1994 1996 1999 2004 2008
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
9-year-olds                                              
All students 208   (1.0) 210 (0.7) 215 (1.0) 211 (0.8) 212 (1.1) 209 (1.2) 211 (1.2) 212 (1.0) 212 (1.3) 216 (1.0) 220 (0.9)
Sex                                              
Male 201   (1.1) 204 (0.8) 210 (1.1) 207 (1.0) 207 (1.4) 204 (1.7) 207 (1.3) 207 (1.4) 209 (1.6) 212 (1.1) 216 (1.1)
Female 214   (1.0) 216 (0.8) 220 (1.1) 214 (0.9) 216 (1.3) 215 (1.2) 215 (1.4) 218 (1.1) 215 (1.5) 219 (1.1) 224 (0.9)
                                               
Race/ethnicity                                              
White 214 1  (0.9) 217 (0.7) 221 (0.8) 218 (0.9) 218 (1.4) 217 (1.3) 218 (1.3) 220 (1.2) 221 (1.6) 224 (0.9) 228 (1.0)
Black 170 1  (1.7) 181 (1.2) 189 (1.8) 186 (1.3) 189 (2.4) 182 (2.9) 185 (2.3) 191 (2.6) 186 (2.3) 197 (1.8) 204 (1.7)
Hispanic [2]   (†) 183 (2.2) 190 (2.3) 187 (3.0) 194 (3.5) 189 (2.3) 186 (3.9) 195 (3.4) 193 (2.7) 199 (1.5) 207 (1.5)
                                               
Region                                              
Northeast 213   (1.7) 215 (1.3) 221 (2.1) 216 (2.2) 215 (2.6) 217 (2.2) 217 (2.9) 220 (1.8) 222 (3.5) 221 (2.5) 225 (1.6)
Southeast 194   (2.9) 201 (1.2) 210 (2.3) 204 (2.0) 207 (2.1) 197 (3.2) 208 (3.0) 206 (2.8) 205 (2.3) 214 (1.6) 220 (2.1)
Central 215   (1.2) 215 (1.2) 217 (1.4) 215 (1.9) 218 (2.2) 213 (2.0) 214 (2.3) 215 (2.6) 215 (3.9) 217 (2.5) 218 (1.6)
West 205   (2.0) 207 (2.0) 213 (1.8) 209 (2.0) 208 (2.6) 210 (2.8) 205 (2.8) 210 (1.9) 206 (1.8) 213 (1.6) 218 (1.3)
                                               
13-year-olds                                              
All students 255   (0.9) 256 (0.8) 258 (0.9) 257 (0.6) 257 (1.0) 257 (0.8) 258 (0.9) 258 (1.0) 259 (1.0) 257 (1.0) 260 (0.8)
Sex                                              
Male 250   (1.0) 250 (0.8) 254 (1.1) 253 (0.7) 252 (1.3) 251 (1.1) 251 (1.2) 251 (1.2) 254 (1.3) 252 (1.1) 256 (1.0)
Female 261   (0.9) 262 (0.9) 263 (0.9) 262 (0.7) 263 (1.0) 263 (1.1) 266 (1.2) 264 (1.2) 265 (1.2) 262 (1.2) 264 (0.9)
                                               
Race/ethnicity                                              
White 261 1  (0.7) 262 (0.7) 264 (0.7) 263 (0.6) 261 (1.1) 262 (0.9) 265 (1.1) 266 (1.0) 267 (1.2) 265 (1.0) 268 (1.0)
Black 222 1  (1.2) 226 (1.2) 233 (1.5) 236 (1.2) 243 (2.4) 241 (2.2) 234 (2.4) 234 (2.6) 238 (2.4) 239 (1.9) 247 (1.6)
Hispanic [2]   (†) 232 (3.0) 237 (2.0) 240 (2.0) 240 (3.5) 238 (2.3) 235 (1.9) 238 (2.9) 244 (2.9) 241 (2.1) 242 (1.5)
                                               
Parents' highest level
   of education
                                             
Did not finish high school   (†) (†) 239 (1.1) 240 (1.2) 246 (2.1) 241 (1.8) 237 (2.4) 239 (2.8) 238 (3.4) 238 (2.3) 239 (1.9)
Graduated high school   (†) (†) 253 (0.9) 253 (0.8) 253 (1.2) 251 (0.9) 251 (1.4) 251 (1.5) 251 (1.8) 249 (1.1) 251 (1.1)
Some education after
    high school
  (†) (†) 268 (1.0) 266 (1.1) 265 (1.7) 267 (1.7) 266 (1.9) 268 (2.3) 269 (2.4) 261 (1.4) 265 (1.1)
Graduated college   (†) (†) 273 (0.9) 268 (0.9) 265 (1.6) 267 (1.1) 269 (1.2) 269 (1.4) 270 (1.2) 266 (1.2) 270 (1.2)
                                               
Region                                              
Northeast 261   (2.0) 259 (1.8) 260 (1.8) 261 (0.8) 259 (2.4) 259 (1.8) 269 (2.0) 259 (2.6) 263 (2.9) 264 (2.5) 266 (1.7)
Southeast 245   (1.7) 249 (1.5) 253 (1.6) 256 (1.9) 258 (2.2) 256 (2.2) 253 (2.5) 251 (3.3) 254 (2.4) 253 (1.8) 258 (1.9)
Central 260   (1.8) 261 (1.4) 265 (1.4) 258 (1.3) 256 (2.0) 257 (1.5) 259 (3.3) 267 (1.8) 261 (1.9) 259 (1.8) 262 (1.9)
West 254   (1.3) 253 (1.7) 256 (2.0) 254 (1.1) 258 (2.1) 256 (1.6) 253 (2.1) 257 (1.7) 259 (2.2) 253 (1.7) 256 (1.5)
                                               
17-year-olds                                              
All students 285   (1.2) 286 (0.8) 285 (1.2) 289 (0.8) 290 (1.0) 290 (1.1) 288 (1.3) 288 (1.1) 288 (1.3) 283 (1.1) 286 (0.9)
Sex                                              
Male 279   (1.2) 280 (1.0) 282 (1.3) 284 (0.8) 286 (1.5) 284 (1.6) 282 (2.2) 281 (1.3) 281 (1.6) 276 (1.4) 280 (1.1)
Female 291   (1.3) 291 (1.0) 289 (1.2) 294 (0.9) 294 (1.5) 296 (1.2) 295 (1.5) 295 (1.2) 295 (1.4) 289 (1.2) 291 (1.0)
                                               
Race/ethnicity                                              
White 291 1  (1.0) 293 (0.6) 293 (0.9) 295 (0.9) 295 (1.2) 297 (1.2) 296 (1.5) 295 (1.2) 295 (1.4) 289 (1.2) 295 (1.0)
Black 239 1  (1.7) 241 (2.0) 243 (1.8) 264 (1.2) 274 (2.4) 267 (2.3) 266 (3.9) 266 (2.7) 264 (1.7) 262 (1.9) 266 (2.4)
Hispanic [2]   (†) 252 (3.6) 261 (2.7) 268 (2.9) 271 (4.3) 275 (3.6) 263 (4.9) 265 (4.1) 271 (3.9) 267 (2.5) 269 (1.3)
                                               
Parents' highest level
   of education
                                             
Did not finish high school   (†) (†) 262 (1.5) 269 (1.4) 267 (2.0) 270 (2.8) 268 (2.7) 267 (3.2) 265 (3.6) 259 (2.7) 266 (2.1)
Graduated high school   (†) (†) 277 (1.0) 281 (0.8) 282 (1.3) 283 (1.4) 276 (1.9) 273 (1.7) 274 (2.1) 271 (1.4) 274 (1.4)
Some education after
    high school
  (†) (†) 295 (1.2) 298 (0.9) 299 (2.2) 295 (1.9) 294 (1.6) 295 (2.2) 295 (1.8) 285 (1.5) 288 (1.1)
Graduated college   (†) (†) 301 (1.0) 302 (0.9) 300 (1.4) 302 (1.5) 300 (1.7) 299 (1.5) 298 (1.3) 295 (1.2) 298 (1.1)
                                               
Region                                              
Northeast 291   (2.8) 289 (1.7) 286 (2.4) 291 (2.5) 295 (2.9) 296 (1.8) 297 (4.2) 292 (2.8) 295 (4.0) 286 (2.1) 290 (1.6)
Southeast 271   (2.4) 277 (1.4) 280 (2.2) 284 (2.1) 286 (2.1) 285 (2.5) 283 (2.8) 279 (2.6) 279 (2.4) 278 (1.6) 281 (1.8)
Central 291   (2.1) 292 (1.4) 287 (2.2) 290 (1.8) 291 (1.9) 294 (2.4) 286 (3.7) 293 (2.1) 292 (1.5) 289 (1.8) 290 (2.1)
West 284   (1.8) 282 (1.9) 287 (2.1) 289 (1.6) 289 (1.8) 287 (2.6) 288 (2.8) 287 (2.4) 286 (3.0) 280 (2.7) 284 (1.5)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
1 Data for 1971 include persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
2 Test scores of Hispanics were not tabulated separately.
NOTE: The NAEP reading scores have been evaluated at certain performance levels. Scale ranges from 0 to 500. Students scoring 150 (or higher) are able to follow brief written directions and carry out simple, discrete reading tasks. Students scoring 200 are able to understand, combine ideas, and make inferences based on short uncomplicated passages about specific or sequentially related information. Students scoring 250 are able to search for specific information, interrelate ideas, and make generalizations about literature, science, and social studies materials. Students scoring 300 are able to find, understand, summarize, and explain relatively complicated literary and informational material. Includes public and private schools. Excludes persons not enrolled in school and students who were unable to be tested due to limited proficiency in English or due to a disability. Beginning in 2004, data are for a revised assessment format that provides accommodations for students with disabilities and English language learners. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity, except where noted. Totals include other racial/ethnic groups not shown separately. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Standard errors appear in parentheses.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), NAEP 2004 Trends in Academic Progress; and 2008 NAEP Long-Term Trend Reading Assessment, retrieved May 4, 2009, from Long-Term Trend NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared May 2009.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education