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Table 221.85. Average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scale score, by age and selected student characteristics: Selected years, 1971 through 2012
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected student characteristic 1971 1975 1980 1984 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1999 20041 2008 2012
Previous format Revised format
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
9-year-olds                                                          
All students 208   (1.0) 210 (0.7) 215 (1.0) 211 (0.8) 212 (1.1) 209 (1.2) 211 (0.9) 211 (1.2) 212 (1.0) 212 (1.3) 219 (1.1) 216 (1.0) 220 (0.9) 221 (0.8)
Sex                                                          
Male 201   (1.1) 204 (0.8) 210 (1.1) 207 (1.0) 207 (1.4) 204 (1.7) 206 (1.3) 207 (1.3) 207 (1.4) 209 (1.6) 216 (1.4) 212 (1.1) 216 (1.1) 218 (0.9)
Female 214   (1.0) 216 (0.8) 220 (1.1) 214 (0.9) 216 (1.3) 215 (1.2) 215 (0.9) 215 (1.4) 218 (1.1) 215 (1.5) 221 (1.0) 219 (1.1) 224 (0.9) 223 (0.9)
Gap between female and male score 13   (1.5) 12 (1.1) 10 (1.6) 7 (1.3) 9 (1.9) 11 (2.0) 10 (1.6) 7 (1.9) 11 (1.8) 6 (2.2) 5 (1.8) 8 (1.5) 7 (1.4) 5 (1.3)
                                                           
Race/ethnicity                                                          
White 214 2 (0.9) 217 (0.7) 221 (0.8) 218 (0.9) 218 (1.4) 217 (1.3) 218 (1.0) 218 (1.3) 220 (1.2) 221 (1.6) 226 (1.1) 224 (0.9) 228 (1.0) 229 (0.8)
Black 170 2 (1.7) 181 (1.2) 189 (1.8) 186 (1.3) 189 (2.4) 182 (2.9) 185 (2.2) 185 (2.3) 191 (2.6) 186 (2.3) 200 (2.2) 197 (1.8) 204 (1.7) 206 (1.9)
Hispanic [3]   (†) 183 (2.2) 190 (2.3) 187 (3.0) 194 (3.5) 189 (2.3) 192 (3.1) 186 (3.9) 195 (3.4) 193 (2.7) 205 (1.7) 199 (1.5) 207 (1.5) 208 (1.5)
                                                           
Gap between White and Black score 44   (1.9) 35 (1.4) 32 (1.9) 32 (1.6) 29 (2.8) 35 (3.2) 33 (2.4) 33 (2.6) 29 (2.8) 35 (2.8) 26 (2.5) 27 (2.1) 24 (2.0) 23 (2.1)
Gap between White and Hispanic score   (†) 34 (2.4) 31 (2.4) 31 (3.1) 24 (3.8) 28 (2.6) 26 (3.2) 32 (4.1) 25 (3.6) 28 (3.2) 21 (2.1) 25 (1.8) 21 (1.8) 21 (1.7)
                                                           
13-year-olds                                                          
All students 255   (0.9) 256 (0.8) 258 (0.9) 257 (0.6) 257 (1.0) 257 (0.8) 260 (1.2) 258 (0.9) 258 (1.0) 259 (1.0) 259 (1.0) 257 (1.0) 260 (0.8) 263 (1.0)
Sex                                                          
Male 250   (1.0) 250 (0.8) 254 (1.1) 253 (0.7) 252 (1.3) 251 (1.1) 254 (1.7) 251 (1.2) 251 (1.2) 254 (1.3) 254 (1.2) 252 (1.1) 256 (1.0) 259 (1.3)
Female 261   (0.9) 262 (0.9) 263 (0.9) 262 (0.7) 263 (1.0) 263 (1.1) 265 (1.2) 266 (1.2) 264 (1.2) 265 (1.2) 264 (1.3) 262 (1.2) 264 (0.9) 267 (0.9)
Gap between female and male score 11   (1.3) 13 (1.2) 8 (1.4) 9 (1.0) 11 (1.7) 13 (1.6) 11 (2.1) 15 (1.7) 13 (1.7) 12 (1.8) 10 (1.8) 10 (1.6) 8 (1.3) 8 (1.6)
                                                           
Race/ethnicity                                                          
White 261 2 (0.7) 262 (0.7) 264 (0.7) 263 (0.6) 261 (1.1) 262 (0.9) 266 (1.2) 265 (1.1) 266 (1.0) 267 (1.2) 266 (1.0) 265 (1.0) 268 (1.0) 270 (1.3)
Black 222 2 (1.2) 226 (1.2) 233 (1.5) 236 (1.2) 243 (2.4) 241 (2.2) 238 (2.3) 234 (2.4) 234 (2.6) 238 (2.4) 244 (2.0) 239 (1.9) 247 (1.6) 247 (1.6)
Hispanic [3]   (†) 232 (3.0) 237 (2.0) 240 (2.0) 240 (3.5) 238 (2.3) 239 (3.5) 235 (1.9) 238 (2.9) 244 (2.9) 242 (1.6) 241 (2.1) 242 (1.5) 249 (1.3)
                                                           
Gap between White and Black score 39   (1.4) 36 (1.4) 32 (1.6) 26 (1.3) 18 (2.6) 21 (2.4) 29 (2.7) 31 (2.7) 32 (2.8) 29 (2.7) 22 (2.3) 25 (2.1) 21 (1.9) 23 (2.1)
Gap between White and Hispanic score   (†) 30 (3.1) 27 (2.1) 23 (2.1) 21 (3.6) 24 (2.5) 27 (3.7) 30 (2.2) 28 (3.1) 23 (3.1) 24 (1.9) 24 (2.4) 26 (1.8) 21 (1.8)
                                                           
Parents' highest level of education                                                          
Did not finish high school   (†) (†) 239 (1.1) 240 (1.2) 246 (2.1) 241 (1.8) 239 (2.6) 237 (2.4) 239 (2.8) 238 (3.4) 240 (2.7) 238 (2.3) 239 (1.9) 248 (2.0)
Graduated high school   (†) (†) 253 (0.9) 253 (0.8) 253 (1.2) 251 (0.9) 252 (1.7) 251 (1.4) 251 (1.5) 251 (1.8) 251 (1.6) 249 (1.1) 251 (1.1) 248 (1.7)
Some education after high school   (†) (†) 268 (1.0) 266 (1.1) 265 (1.7) 267 (1.7) 265 (2.7) 266 (1.9) 268 (2.3) 269 (2.4) 264 (2.0) 261 (1.4) 265 (1.1) 264 (1.5)
Graduated college   (†) (†) 273 (0.9) 268 (0.9) 265 (1.6) 267 (1.1) 271 (1.5) 269 (1.2) 269 (1.4) 270 (1.2) 270 (1.0) 266 (1.2) 270 (1.2) 273 (1.3)
                                                           
17-year-olds                                                          
All students 285   (1.2) 286 (0.8) 285 (1.2) 289 (0.8) 290 (1.0) 290 (1.1) 290 (1.1) 288 (1.3) 288 (1.1) 288 (1.3) 285 (1.2) 283 (1.1) 286 (0.9) 287 (0.9)
Sex                                                          
Male 279   (1.2) 280 (1.0) 282 (1.3) 284 (0.8) 286 (1.5) 284 (1.6) 284 (1.6) 282 (2.2) 281 (1.3) 281 (1.6) 278 (1.5) 276 (1.4) 280 (1.1) 283 (1.1)
Female 291   (1.3) 291 (1.0) 289 (1.2) 294 (0.9) 294 (1.5) 296 (1.2) 296 (1.1) 295 (1.5) 295 (1.2) 295 (1.4) 292 (1.3) 289 (1.2) 291 (1.0) 291 (1.0)
Gap between female and male score 12   (1.8) 12 (1.4) 7 (1.8) 10 (1.2) 8 (2.1) 12 (2.0) 11 (1.9) 13 (2.7) 15 (1.8) 13 (2.1) 14 (2.0) 14 (1.8) 11 (1.5) 8 (1.5)
                                                           
Race/ethnicity                                                          
White 291 2 (1.0) 293 (0.6) 293 (0.9) 295 (0.9) 295 (1.2) 297 (1.2) 297 (1.4) 296 (1.5) 295 (1.2) 295 (1.4) 293 (1.1) 289 (1.2) 295 (1.0) 295 (1.0)
Black 239 2 (1.7) 241 (2.0) 243 (1.8) 264 (1.2) 274 (2.4) 267 (2.3) 261 (2.1) 266 (3.9) 266 (2.7) 264 (1.7) 264 (2.7) 262 (1.9) 266 (2.4) 269 (1.6)
Hispanic [3]   (†) 252 (3.6) 261 (2.7) 268 (2.9) 271 (4.3) 275 (3.6) 271 (3.7) 263 (4.9) 265 (4.1) 271 (3.9) 264 (2.9) 267 (2.5) 269 (1.3) 274 (1.5)
                                                           
Gap between White and Black score 53   (2.0) 52 (2.1) 50 (2.0) 32 (1.5) 20 (2.7) 29 (2.6) 37 (2.5) 30 (4.2) 29 (3.0) 31 (2.3) 29 (2.9) 27 (2.3) 29 (2.6) 26 (1.9)
Gap between White and Hispanic score   (†) 41 (3.6) 31 (2.9) 27 (3.0) 24 (4.4) 22 (3.8) 26 (3.9) 33 (5.2) 30 (4.2) 24 (4.2) 29 (3.1) 22 (2.8) 26 (1.6) 21 (1.9)
                                                           
Parents' highest level of education                                                          
Did not finish high school   (†) (†) 262 (1.5) 269 (1.4) 267 (2.0) 270 (2.8) 271 (3.9) 268 (2.7) 267 (3.2) 265 (3.6) 259 (3.4) 259 (2.7) 266 (2.1) 266 (2.1)
Graduated high school   (†) (†) 277 (1.0) 281 (0.8) 282 (1.3) 283 (1.4) 280 (1.6) 276 (1.9) 273 (1.7) 274 (2.1) 274 (1.6) 271 (1.4) 274 (1.4) 270 (1.6)
Some education after high school   (†) (†) 295 (1.2) 298 (0.9) 299 (2.2) 295 (1.9) 293 (1.9) 294 (1.6) 295 (2.2) 295 (1.8) 286 (1.9) 285 (1.5) 288 (1.1) 287 (1.1)
Graduated college   (†) (†) 301 (1.0) 302 (0.9) 300 (1.4) 302 (1.5) 301 (1.7) 300 (1.7) 299 (1.5) 298 (1.3) 298 (1.3) 295 (1.2) 298 (1.1) 300 (1.0)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
1 In 2004, two assessments were conducted--one using the same format that was used in previous assessments, and one using a revised assessment format that provides accommodations for students with disabilities and for English language learners. The 2004 data in column 12 are for the format that was used in previous assessment years, while the 2004 data in column 13 are for the revised format. In subsequent years, only the revised format was used.
2 Data for 1971 include persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
3 Test scores of Hispanics were not tabulated separately.
NOTE: 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. For assessment years prior to 2004, accommodations were not permitted. For 2004 (revised format) and later years, includes students tested with accommodations; excludes only those students with disabilities and English language learners who were unable to be tested even with accommodations (2 to 5 percent of all students, depending on age and assessment year). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity, except where noted. Totals include other racial/ethnic groups not shown separately.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), NAEP 2012 Trends in Academic Progress; and 2012 NAEP Long-Term Trend Reading Assessment, retrieved June 27, 2013, from Long-Term Trend NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared June 2013.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
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