Skip Navigation
small NCES header image
Table 131. Average reading scale scores of 4th- and 8th-grade public school students and percentage at or above selected reading achievement levels, by race/ethnicity and jurisdiction or specific urban district: 2007 and 2009
Grade level and jurisdiction or specific urban district Average reading scale score1 Percent of students
2007 2009 2009
All students White Black Hispanic Asian/
Pacific Islander
All students White Black Hispanic Asian/
Pacific Islander
At or above Basic2 At or above Proficient3
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
4th grade                                                
                                                 
United States 220 (0.3) 230 (0.2) 203 (0.4) 204 (0.5) 231 (1.0) 220 (0.3) 229 (0.3) 204 (0.5) 204 (0.5) 234 (1.1) 66 (0.3) 32 (0.4)
Large city 208 (0.7) 231 (0.9) 199 (0.7) 199 (0.8) 228 (2.7) 210 (0.7) 233 (1.4) 201 (0.9) 202 (0.8) 228 (1.7) 54 (0.8) 23 (0.8)
                                                 
Atlanta 207 (1.5) 253 (2.5) 200 (1.4) (†) (†) 209 (1.5) 253 (2.9) 201 (1.6) (†) (†) 50 (1.5) 22 (1.0)
Austin 218 (2.0) 244 (1.7) 201 (4.1) 206 (2.4) 236 (8.9) 220 (1.8) 245 (2.0) 211 (3.0) 208 (2.3) (†) 65 (2.3) 32 (2.0)
Baltimore City (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 202 (1.7) 220 (4.8) 200 (1.7) (†) (†) 42 (2.0) 12 (1.2)
Boston 210 (1.9) 230 (4.1) 204 (2.4) 204 (1.9) 229 (5.6) 215 (1.2) 231 (2.9) 212 (1.5) 209 (2.0) 231 (3.2) 61 (2.0) 24 (2.1)
Charlotte 222 (1.5) 244 (1.9) 206 (2.1) 207 (2.2) 235 (5.6) 225 (1.6) 243 (1.6) 211 (2.3) 212 (2.8) 233 (5.4) 71 (2.1) 36 (2.2)
                                                 
Chicago 201 (1.5) 227 (3.4) 193 (2.2) 201 (2.2) 237 (5.6) 202 (1.5) 228 (3.5) 194 (1.8) 203 (2.1) 232 (3.5) 45 (1.7) 16 (1.6)
Cleveland 198 (1.7) 215 (2.8) 192 (1.8) 200 (3.9) (†) 194 (2.0) 209 (3.4) 189 (2.2) 200 (4.4) (†) 34 (3.0) 8 (1.5)
Detroit (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 187 (1.9) (†) 186 (2.1) 190 (2.8) (†) 27 (2.1) 5 (0.9)
District of Columbia 197 (0.9) 258 (3.9) 192 (1.0) 206 (3.6) (†) 203 (1.2) 257 (2.9) 195 (1.3) 207 (3.2) (†) 46 (1.6) 18 (1.1)
Fresno (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 197 (1.7) 217 (3.0) 193 (3.4) 194 (1.8) 194 (3.1) 40 (2.1) 12 (1.8)
                                                 
Houston 206 (1.2) 241 (3.7) 205 (1.5) 200 (1.6) 231 (4.0) 211 (1.7) 243 (4.7) 210 (2.5) 206 (1.9) 240 (3.8) 55 (2.2) 19 (1.8)
Jefferson County (KY) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 219 (1.8) 230 (2.1) 203 (2.0) (†) (†) 64 (2.0) 30 (2.3)
Los Angeles 196 (1.3) 228 (1.4) 196 (4.9) 190 (1.6) 219 (4.3) 197 (1.1) 222 (3.5) 195 (3.3) 193 (1.1) 220 (3.6) 40 (1.4) 13 (1.1)
Miami-Dade (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 221 (1.2) 238 (3.4) 205 (2.1) 224 (1.1) (†) 68 (1.6) 31 (1.6)
Milwaukee (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 196 (2.0) 223 (4.6) 187 (2.4) 198 (2.7) 214 (5.1) 39 (2.4) 12 (1.8)
                                                 
New York City 213 (1.1) 232 (2.9) 206 (1.7) 203 (1.6) 230 (2.6) 217 (1.4) 235 (2.8) 208 (1.6) 208 (1.9) 235 (2.6) 62 (1.7) 29 (1.8)
Philadelphia (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 195 (1.8) 215 (4.2) 191 (2.1) 187 (4.6) 214 (3.8) 39 (2.1) 11 (1.3)
San Diego 210 (1.8) 234 (2.7) 199 (2.8) 196 (1.9) 223 (2.7) 213 (2.1) 236 (2.8) 206 (4.1) 193 (2.6) 227 (3.1) 59 (2.0) 29 (2.3)
                                                 
8th grade                                                
                                                 
United States 261 (0.2) 270 (0.2) 244 (0.4) 246 (0.4) 269 (1.2) 262 (0.3) 271 (0.2) 245 (0.4) 248 (0.6) 273 (1.1) 74 (0.4) 30 (0.4)
Large city 250 (0.7) 271 (1.0) 240 (0.9) 243 (0.7) 263 (3.5) 252 (0.5) 272 (1.0) 243 (0.7) 245 (0.9) 268 (2.0) 63 (0.6) 21 (0.7)
                                                 
Atlanta 245 (1.4) (†) 242 (1.3) (†) (†) 250 (1.5) 292 (3.9) 246 (1.7) (†) (†) 60 (2.7) 17 (1.1)
Austin 257 (2.0) 284 (2.8) 238 (2.9) 244 (2.2) (†) 261 (2.0) 282 (2.5) 247 (2.5) 251 (2.1) (†) 71 (1.8) 30 (2.8)
Baltimore City (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 245 (1.7) (†) 243 (1.6) (†) (†) 54 (2.8) 10 (1.4)
Boston 254 (1.6) 275 (2.3) 250 (2.2) 241 (3.2) 275 (3.7) 257 (1.5) 282 (3.0) 248 (2.4) 251 (2.1) 276 (3.4) 68 (2.3) 23 (1.8)
Charlotte 260 (1.2) 279 (1.8) 246 (1.5) 251 (4.3) (†) 259 (1.0) 276 (2.4) 249 (1.2) 254 (3.7) (†) 70 (1.4) 28 (1.8)
                                                 
Chicago 250 (1.5) 266 (3.0) 240 (1.8) 255 (1.5) (†) 249 (1.6) 272 (3.1) 243 (1.8) 249 (2.5) (†) 60 (2.2) 17 (1.5)
Cleveland 246 (1.5) 262 (3.2) 243 (1.7) 249 (3.7) (†) 242 (1.6) 258 (3.4) 239 (2.2) 237 (3.5) (†) 52 (2.6) 10 (1.4)
Detroit (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 232 (2.4) (†) 232 (2.6) 232 (4.7) (†) 40 (3.6) 7 (1.7)
District of Columbia 241 (0.7) (†) 238 (0.9) 249 (3.2) (†) 240 (1.5) (†) 235 (1.5) 249 (5.3) (†) 48 (1.7) 14 (1.1)
Fresno (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 240 (2.4) 263 (3.8) 232 (3.4) 235 (2.7) 241 (3.5) 48 (3.0) 12 (2.3)
                                                 
Houston 252 (1.4) 281 (3.9) 249 (1.6) 246 (1.4) 289 (7.3) 252 (1.2) 280 (3.6) 243 (2.2) 250 (1.2) (†) 64 (1.8) 18 (1.4)
Jefferson County (KY) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 259 (1.0) 267 (1.4) 245 (2.1) (†) (†) 68 (1.5) 26 (1.4)
Los Angeles 240 (1.0) 272 (3.4) 229 (4.7) 236 (1.1) 264 (3.4) 244 (1.1) 271 (3.4) 239 (3.6) 239 (1.0) 265 (3.4) 54 (1.5) 15 (1.1)
Miami-Dade (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 261 (1.4) 273 (3.2) 250 (2.4) 261 (1.6) (†) 73 (1.6) 28 (1.4)
Milwaukee (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 241 (2.0) 265 (3.4) 233 (2.3) 249 (2.9) (†) 51 (2.2) 12 (1.4)
                                                 
New York City 249 (1.9) 270 (3.4) 240 (2.7) 241 (2.8) 268 (2.8) 252 (1.4) 271 (2.4) 246 (1.9) 243 (2.2) 270 (2.5) 62 (1.9) 21 (1.5)
Philadelphia (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 247 (2.5) 266 (5.2) 241 (1.9) 241 (3.7) 270 (4.4) 56 (2.5) 15 (2.8)
San Diego 250 (1.2) 271 (2.6) 240 (3.2) 235 (2.0) 265 (2.6) 254 (2.8) 273 (3.4) 239 (5.0) 242 (3.8) 264 (2.6) 65 (2.8) 25 (3.1)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
‡Reporting standards not met.
1 Scale ranges from 0 to 500.
2 Basic denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at a given grade.
3 Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.
NOTE: Beginning in 2009, if the results for charter schools are not included in a school district's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report to the U.S. Department of Education under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, they are excluded from that district's results. This change had little or no impact on differences between any participating district’s 2007 and 2009 average reading scores except those of the District of Columbia at grade 8. For details, see the Technical Notes in The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009 Trial Urban District Assessment (NCES 2010-459). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and missing data. Totals include racial/ethnic groups not shown separately.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2007 and 2009 Reading Assessments, retrieved May 20, 2010, from the Main NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared May 2010.)
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education