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Table 141. Average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scale score and standard deviation, by selected student characteristics, percentile, and grade: Selected years, 1992 through 2011
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected student characteristic, percentile, and grade 19921  19941  1998 2000 2002 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011
Total Male Female
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
  Average reading scale score2
All students                                                
4th grade 217 (0.9) 214 (1.0) 215 (1.1) 213 (1.3) 219 (0.4) 218 (0.3) 219 (0.2) 221 (0.3) 221 (0.3) 221 (0.3) 218 (0.3) 225 (0.3)
8th grade 260 (0.9) 260 (0.8) 263 (0.8) --- (†) 264 (0.4) 263 (0.3) 262 (0.2) 263 (0.2) 264 (0.3) 265 (0.2) 261 (0.3) 270 (0.2)
12th grade 292 (0.6) 287 (0.7) 290 (0.6) --- (†) 287 (0.7) --- (†) 286 (0.6) --- (†) 288 (0.7) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
                                                 
Eligibility for free or
   reduced-price lunch
                                               
4th grade                                                
Eligible --- (†) --- (†) 196 (1.7) 193 (1.7) 203 (0.7) 201 (0.3) 203 (0.3) 205 (0.3) 206 (0.3) 207 (0.3) 203 (0.4) 211 (0.4)
Not eligible --- (†) --- (†) 227 (0.9) 226 (1.2) 230 (0.4) 229 (0.3) 230 (0.2) 232 (0.3) 232 (0.3) 235 (0.3) 232 (0.3) 238 (0.4)
Unknown --- (†) --- (†) 223 (2.7) 225 (2.3) 226 (1.6) 230 (0.9) 232 (0.9) 233 (1.3) 236 (1.3) 235 (0.8) 231 (1.1) 239 (1.0)
                                                 
8th grade                                                
Eligible --- (†) --- (†) 245 (1.0) --- (†) 249 (0.5) 247 (0.4) 247 (0.3) 247 (0.3) 249 (0.3) 252 (0.3) 247 (0.3) 256 (0.3)
Not eligible --- (†) --- (†) 269 (1.0) --- (†) 272 (0.4) 271 (0.3) 270 (0.2) 271 (0.3) 273 (0.3) 275 (0.3) 270 (0.3) 280 (0.3)
Unknown --- (†) --- (†) 272 (2.0) --- (†) 271 (1.4) 272 (1.0) 275 (1.1) 277 (1.3) 280 (1.3) 283 (0.9) 280 (1.0) 286 (1.2)
                                                 
12th grade                                                
Eligible --- (†) --- (†) 270 (1.1) --- (†) 273 (1.4) --- (†) 271 (1.0) --- (†) 273 (0.7) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
Not eligible --- (†) --- (†) 293 (0.6) --- (†) 289 (0.9) --- (†) 290 (0.7) --- (†) 294 (0.8) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
Unknown --- (†) --- (†) 295 (1.6) --- (†) 294 (1.5) --- (†) 295 (1.9) --- (†) 296 (2.4) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
                                                 
Read for fun on own time                                                
4th grade                                                
Almost every day 223 (1.2) 223 (1.2) 219 (1.5) 218 (1.7) 225 (0.5) 225 (0.3) 225 (0.3) 227 (0.3) 228 (0.4) 228 (0.4) 225 (0.4) 230 (0.4)
1-2 times a week 218 (1.2) 213 (1.1) 217 (1.2) 216 (1.2) 220 (0.5) 219 (0.3) 220 (0.3) 223 (0.3) 221 (0.4) 221 (0.4) 219 (0.4) 223 (0.5)
1-2 times a month 210 (1.6) 208 (2.1) 211 (1.9) 212 (1.6) 210 (0.8) 211 (0.5) 213 (0.4) 216 (0.4) 214 (0.4) 214 (0.4) 212 (0.5) 217 (0.6)
Never or hardly ever 199 (1.8) 197 (1.9) 202 (1.9) 201 (1.8) 208 (0.5) 207 (0.4) 208 (0.3) 211 (0.4) 210 (0.3) 210 (0.5) 209 (0.5) 212 (0.6)
                                                 
8th grade                                                
Almost every day 277 (1.1) 277 (1.4) 277 (1.0) --- (†) 279 (0.6) 279 (0.4) 279 (0.3) 281 (0.4) 282 (0.4) 284 (0.4) 279 (0.6) 287 (0.4)
1-2 times a week 263 (1.0) 264 (1.1) 267 (1.1) --- (†) 266 (0.5) 265 (0.4) 265 (0.3) 265 (0.3) 267 (0.4) 268 (0.3) 265 (0.5) 271 (0.4)
1-2 times a month 258 (1.2) 257 (0.8) 263 (0.9) --- (†) 264 (0.6) 262 (0.3) 261 (0.3) 261 (0.4) 261 (0.4) 263 (0.3) 261 (0.5) 265 (0.4)
Never or hardly ever 246 (1.4) 246 (1.1) 251 (1.1) --- (†) 255 (0.4) 253 (0.3) 252 (0.3) 253 (0.3) 253 (0.4) 255 (0.3) 253 (0.4) 257 (0.4)
                                                 
12th grade                                                
Almost every day 304 (0.9) 302 (1.1) 304 (1.0) --- (†) 304 (1.1) --- (†) 302 (1.2) --- (†) 305 (0.9) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
1-2 times a week 296 (0.7) 294 (1.0) 298 (0.9) --- (†) 292 (1.1) --- (†) 292 (1.0) --- (†) 295 (1.0) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
1-2 times a month 290 (0.9) 285 (1.0) 289 (0.7) --- (†) 288 (0.9) --- (†) 285 (0.8) --- (†) 288 (0.8) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
Never or hardly ever 279 (1.0) 273 (1.1) 275 (1.0) --- (†) 275 (1.0) --- (†) 274 (0.8) --- (†) 275 (0.6) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
                                                 
Percentile3                                                 
4th grade                                                
10th 170 (1.9) 159 (1.5) 163 (2.1) 159 (2.3) 170 (0.9) 169 (0.5) 171 (0.4) 174 (0.4) 175 (0.5) 174 (0.4) 169 (0.5) 180 (0.4)
25th 194 (1.1) 189 (1.1) 191 (1.7) 189 (1.4) 196 (0.5) 195 (0.4) 196 (0.3) 199 (0.3) 199 (0.4) 200 (0.4) 196 (0.4) 203 (0.5)
50th 219 (1.3) 219 (1.3) 217 (1.3) 218 (1.7) 221 (0.5) 221 (0.3) 221 (0.2) 224 (0.3) 223 (0.3) 224 (0.3) 221 (0.5) 227 (0.4)
75th 242 (1.1) 243 (1.3) 242 (0.9) 243 (0.8) 244 (0.5) 244 (0.3) 244 (0.3) 246 (0.3) 245 (0.3) 246 (0.3) 243 (0.4) 248 (0.4)
90th 261 (1.4) 263 (1.7) 262 (0.9) 262 (1.4) 263 (0.4) 264 (0.3) 263 (0.3) 264 (0.4) 264 (0.3) 264 (0.4) 262 (0.3) 267 (0.5)
                                                 
8th grade                                                
10th 213 (1.2) 211 (1.9) 216 (1.7) --- (†) 220 (0.5) 217 (0.6) 216 (0.3) 217 (0.4) 219 (0.5) 221 (0.3) 215 (0.4) 227 (0.6)
25th 237 (1.1) 236 (1.1) 241 (0.7) --- (†) 244 (0.5) 242 (0.3) 240 (0.2) 242 (0.3) 243 (0.4) 244 (0.3) 240 (0.4) 249 (0.4)
50th 262 (1.1) 262 (0.7) 266 (0.7) --- (†) 267 (0.5) 266 (0.3) 265 (0.2) 265 (0.2) 267 (0.3) 267 (0.2) 263 (0.4) 271 (0.3)
75th 285 (0.8) 286 (1.1) 288 (1.0) --- (†) 288 (0.4) 288 (0.3) 286 (0.2) 287 (0.2) 288 (0.4) 289 (0.3) 284 (0.3) 293 (0.3)
90th 305 (1.3) 305 (1.2) 306 (0.8) --- (†) 305 (0.5) 306 (0.2) 305 (0.2) 305 (0.2) 305 (0.4) 307 (0.2) 302 (0.5) 311 (0.4)
                                                 
12th grade                                                
10th 249 (0.8) 239 (0.9) 240 (0.6) --- (†) 237 (1.5) --- (†) 235 (1.1) --- (†) 238 (0.8) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
25th 271 (0.8) 264 (0.9) 267 (0.8) --- (†) 263 (1.3) --- (†) 262 (0.8) --- (†) 264 (0.8) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
50th 294 (0.8) 290 (0.6) 293 (0.6) --- (†) 289 (0.7) --- (†) 288 (0.8) --- (†) 291 (0.7) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
75th 315 (0.5) 313 (0.8) 317 (0.7) --- (†) 312 (0.6) --- (†) 313 (1.1) --- (†) 315 (0.9) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
90th 333 (0.7) 332 (1.2) 336 (0.8) --- (†) 332 (0.9) --- (†) 333 (1.1) --- (†) 335 (0.9) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
  Standard deviation4  of the reading scale score
All students                                                
4th grade 36 (0.6) 41 (0.6) 39 (0.7) 42 (0.9) 36 (0.3) 37 (0.2) 36 (0.1) 36 (0.2) 35 (0.2) 36 (0.1) 37 (0.2) 35 (0.2)
8th grade 36 (0.3) 37 (0.4) 35 (0.5) --- (†) 34 (0.3) 35 (0.2) 35 (0.1) 35 (0.2) 34 (0.2) 34 (0.1) 35 (0.2) 33 (0.2)
12th grade 33 (0.4) 37 (0.5) 38 (0.4) --- (†) 37 (0.4) --- (†) 38 (0.4) --- (†) 38 (0.3) --- (†) --- (†) --- (†)
---Not available.            
†Not applicable.
1 Accommodations were not permitted for this assessment.
2 Scale ranges from 0 to 500.
3 The percentile represents a specific point on the percentage distribution of all students ranked by their reading score from low to high. For example, 10 percent of students scored at or below the 10th percentile score, while 90 percent of students scored above it.
4 The standard deviation provides an indication of how much the test scores varied. The lower the standard deviation, the closer the scores were clustered around the average score. About two-thirds of the student scores can be expected to fall within the range of one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below the average score. For example, the average score for all 4th-graders in 2011 was 221, and the standard deviation was 36. This means that we would expect about two-thirds of the students to have scores between 257 (one standard deviation above the average) and 185 (one standard deviation below). Standard errors also must be taken into account when making comparisons of these ranges.
NOTE: Includes public and private schools. For 1998 and later years, includes students tested with accommodations (1 to 10 percent of all students, depending on grade level and year); excludes only those students with disabilities and English language learners who were unable to be tested even with accommodations (2 to 6 percent of all students). On the student questionnaire, the format of the question about reading for fun on your own time changed slightly beginning with the 2002 assessment year. In 1992 through 2000, reading for fun was one of several activities included in the same question (“How often do you do each of the following?”), and the response options were listed in order from most frequent to least frequent (that is, “Almost every day” was listed first, and “Never or hardly ever” was listed last); in 2002 through 2011, reading for fun was the only activity in the question, and the order of the response options was reversed.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 Reading Assessments, retrieved November 1, 2011 and November 21, 2012, from the Main NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared November 2012.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education