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Chapter 4: Academic Preparation and Achievement

Indicator 17: Reading Achievement

Among 4th-graders and 8th-graders in 2011, and among 12th-graders in 2009, higher percentages of females than males scored at or above Proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading. This pattern was found for White, Black, and Hispanic students in all three grades and for Asian students in the 4th and 8th grades.

In 2011, some 34 percent of both 4th- and 8th-grade students scored at or above the Proficient level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment. In 2009, the most recent year for which 12th-grade NAEP data were available, 38 percent of 12th-grade students scored at or above Proficient in reading.

At the 4th- and 8th-grade levels in 2011, higher percentages of females than males scored at or above Proficient in reading. This pattern by sex was found for all racial/ethnic groups except for Native Hawaiians/ Pacific Islanders in the 4th grade and except for Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders and American Indians/ Alaska Natives in the 8th grade. For example, among 4th-graders, 20 percent of Black females scored at or above Proficient, compared with 13 percent of Black males; 20 percent of Hispanic females scored at this level, compared with 17 percent of Hispanic males; and 21 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native females scored at this level, compared with 15 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native males.

At the 4th-grade level, higher percentages of Asian (50 percent) and White students (44 percent) scored at or above Proficient on the reading assessment than students of other racial/ethnic groups in 2011. The percentage of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 4th-graders (28 percent) scoring at or above Proficient was higher than the percentages for Hispanic (18 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (18 percent), and Black 4th-graders (17 percent). These same differences between racial/ethnic groups were also found among males and among females in the 4th grade, with the exception that no measurable differences were detected between the percentages of White females (47 percent) and females of two or more races (44 percent) scoring at or above Proficient .

Similarly, in the 8th grade, higher percentages of Asian (49 percent) and White students (43 percent) than students of other racial/ethnic groups scored at or above Proficient in 2011. Additionally, the percentages of 8th-grade Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (24 percent), American Indians/Alaska Natives (22 percent), and Hispanics (19 percent) were not measurably different from each other but were higher than the percentage for Blacks (15 percent). These same differences between racial/ethnic groups were also found among males and among females in the 8th grade, with the exception that the percentage for Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander females (29 percent) did not measurably differ from the percentages for American Indian/Alaska Native (24 percent), Hispanic (22 percent), or Black females (19 percent).

At the 4th- and 8th-grade levels, the overall percentages of students scoring at or above Proficient in reading in 2011 were not measurably different from the percentages in 2009. However, among 8th-grade students, higher percentages of Hispanics overall as well as Hispanic males scored at or above Proficient in 2011 than in 2009. The percentage of 8th-grade Black females scoring at or above Proficient was also higher in 2011 than in 2009 (19 vs.17 percent).

As in the 4th and 8th grades in 2011, a higher percentage of 12th-grade females than males scored at or above7Proficient in reading (43 vs. 32 percent) in 2009. This pattern was also found for White, Black, and Hispanic 12th-graders. For example, 22 percent of Black females scored at or above Proficient, compared with 12 percent of Black males, and 26 percent of Hispanic females scored at this level, compared with 18 percent of Hispanic males. Variations across racial/ethnic groups were also observed among 12th-graders. Higher percentages of Asian/Pacific Islander (49 percent) and White 12th-graders (46 percent) scored at or above Proficient in 2009 than any other racial/ ethnic group shown. A higher percentage of American Indians/Alaska Natives (29 percent) and Hispanics (22 percent) scored at or above Proficient than Blacks (17 percent). Similar patterns were found for both males and females across racial/ethnic groups. For both males and females, higher percentages of Asians/Pacific Islanders and Whites scored at or above Proficient than the other racial/ethnic groups shown. In addition, among males, a higher percentage of Hispanic (18 percent) than Black males (12 percent) scored at or above Proficient . Among females, a higher percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native (36 percent) than Black females (22 percent) scored at or above Proficient .

Technical Notes

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) achievement levels define what students should know and be able to do. Basic denotes partial mastery of knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at a given grade. Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter. Advanced signifies superior performance. NAEP reports data on student race/ethnicity based on information obtained from school rosters. This indicator presents information on Asians and Pacific Islanders as a combined category for the 2009 findings because the data were collected in a manner that does not permit separate reporting prior to 2011. Since 96 percent of all Asian/Pacific Islander 5- to 24-year-olds are Asian, this combined category substantially reflects the situation for Asians, rather than Pacific Islanders. For more information, please see the introduction to this report.

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Figure 17-1 Percentage of students scoring at or above the Proficient level of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessments, by grade, race/ethnicity, and sex: 2011

Table E-17-1 Percentage distribution of students at National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading achievement levels, by grade, sex, and race/ethnicity: Various years, 200511


  
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