Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Reading Literacy: Student Race/Ethnicity


Proficiency Levels

Excel File Excel Download

Table R6. Percentage distribution of U.S. 15-year-old students on PISA reading literacy scale, by proficiency level and race/ethnicity: 2012
  Below level 1b         Level 1b   Level 1a   Level 2   Level 3   Level 4   Level 5   Level 6
Race/ethnicity Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.   Percent s.e.
U.S. average 0.8 !** 0.24   3.6   0.49   12.3   0.89   24.9   0.99   30.5   0.88   20.1   1.08   6.9   0.59   1.0   0.22
White     1.7 * 0.47   7.8 * 0.96   21.4 *** 1.09   33.6 * 1.07   25.0 * 1.42   9.0 * 0.82   1.3   0.33
Black 2.8 ! 1.35   9.2 * 1.54   23.5 * 2.44   30.8 * 2.40   20.7 * 2.50   10.5 * 2.09   2.4 !* 0.97    
Hispanic 0.5 !** 0.23   4.0   0.81   16.2 * 1.97   30.0 * 1.76   30.4   1.68   15.2 * 1.52   3.5 * 0.95    
Asian             12.7 * 2.89   31.2   4.97   31.5 * 4.78   13.8 * 3.06   4.9 !* 1.80
Multiracial         7.3 ! 3.45   24.1   4.41   35.5   4.05   18.7   3.45   11.7   2.98    
OECD average 1.3 *** 0.05   4.4   0.08   12.3   0.13   23.5   0.16   29.1   0.17   21.0   0.16   7.3   0.10   1.1   0.04
† Not applicable.
! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is unstable due to high coefficient of variation.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
* p<.05. Significantly different from both the U.S. and OECD averages at the .05 level of statistical significance.
** p<.05. Significantly different from the OECD average at the .05 level of statistical significance.
*** p<.05. Significantly different from the U.S. average at the .05 level of statistical significance.
NOTE: To reach a particular proficiency level, a student must correctly answer a majority of items at that level. Students were classified into reading literacy levels according to their scores. Exact cut scores are as follows: below level 1b (a score less than or equal to 262.04); level 1b (a score greater than 262.04 and less than or equal to 334.75); level 1a (a score greater than 334.75 and less than or equal to 407.47); level 2 (a score greater than 407.47 and less than or equal to 480.18); level 3 (a score greater than 480.18 and less than or equal to 552.89); level 4 (a score greater than 552.89 and less than or equal to 625.61); level 5 (a score greater than 625.61 and less than or equal to 698.32); and level 6 (a score greater than 698.32). Scores are reported on a scale from 0 to 1,000. The OECD average is the average of the national percentages of the OECD member countries, with each country weighted equally. Reporting standards were not met for American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. Black includes African American, and Hispanic includes Latino. Students who identified themselves as being of Hispanic origin were classified as Hispanic, regardless of their race. Although data for some race/ethnicities were not shown separately because the reporting standards were not met, they are included in the U.S. and state totals. Standard error is noted by s.e. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2012.

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