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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

Learning Opportunities at Home


Among 8th-graders in public schools, 56 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students reported having more than 25 books at home in 2007. This percentage was lower than the percentage of White and Asian/Pacific Islander students but higher than that of Hispanic and Black students.

Figure 5.1a. Percentage of 8th-grade students in public schools with more than 25 books at home, by race/ethnicity: 2007
Percentage of 8th-grade students in public schools with more than 25 books at home, by
race/ethnicity: 2007
1 Total includes other race/ethnicity categories not separately shown.
NOTE: Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2007 Reading Assessment, retrieved January 2008 from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde/.

Figure 5.1b. Percentage distribution of 8th-grade students in public schools according to frequency of reading for fun, by race/ethnicity: 2007
Percentage distribution of 8th-grade students in public schools according to frequency of
reading for fun, by race/ethnicity: 2007
1 Total includes other race/ethnicity categories not separately shown.
NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2007 Reading Assessment, retrieved January 2008 from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde/.

The NAEP reading assessment includes background questions that ask students about access to reading materials in the home—such as books, encyclopedias (either as books or on the computer), magazines, and newspapers—and reading experiences in the home. Results suggest that in 2007, a smaller percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native 8th-graders attending public schools reported having more than 25 books in their home than the percentages of White and Asian/Pacific Islander 8th-graders (56 percent vs. 75 percent, and 67 percent, respectively). The percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native 8th-graders in public schools who reported having more than 25 books at home was larger, however, than that of Hispanic (41 percent) and Black (53 percent) 8th-graders.

A similar pattern was seen regarding access to encyclopedias and magazines. A smaller percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native 8th-graders had access to encyclopedias at home than their White, Black, and Asian/Pacific Islander peers (66 percent vs. 78 percent, 73 percent, and 76 percent, respectively). Additionally, a smaller percentage of American Indians/Alaska Natives had regular access to magazines than their White and Black 8th-grade peers (57 percent vs. 73 percent and 61 percent, respectively). On the other hand, more American Indian/Alaska Native students reported having access to magazines at home than their Hispanic counterparts (57 percent vs. 53 percent).

The percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native 8th-grade public school students reporting regular access to a newspaper at home (39 percent) was similar to the percentage for Asian/Pacific Islander students (38 percent). This was lower than the percentage for White students (44 percent) but higher than the percentage for Hispanic students (30 percent) who reported regular access to a newspaper.

Twenty-four percent of American Indian/Alaska Native 8th-graders reported that they read for fun on their own time at least 1–2 times a week in 2007. This percentage was lower than that of Asian/Pacific Islander (32 percent) and Black (29 percent) students and not measurably different than that of White (22 percent) and Hispanic (24 percent) students. A smaller percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native 8th-graders reported daily leisure reading (17 percent) than White (21 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islander (23 percent) students but this percentage was higher than that of Hispanic students (12 percent).

View Table View Table 5.1a View Table View Table 5.1b

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