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Digest of Education Statistics: 2008
Digest of Education Statistics: 2008

NCES 2009-020
March 2009


Table 125. Average writing scale score and percentage of students attaining writing achievement levels, by selected student characteristics and grade level: 2002 and 2007
Grade, year, and achievement level All students Sex Race/ethnicity Parents' highest level of education Free/reduced-price lunch eligibility
Male Female White Black Hispanic Asian/ Pacific Islander American Indian/ Alaska Native Did not finish high school Graduated high school Some education after high school Graduated college Eligible Not eligible Information not available
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
  Average scale score1 
4th-graders, 2002 154 (0.4) 146 (0.6) 163 (0.4) 161 (0.3) 140 (0.7) 141 (1.6) 167 (1.5) 139 (1.9) (†) (†) (†) (†) 141 (0.8) 163 (0.5) 161 (1.5)
                                                             
8th-graders                                                            
2002 153 (0.5) 143 (0.6) 164 (0.6) 161 (0.6) 135 (0.7) 137 (0.9) 161 (2.0) 137 (2.9) 136 (0.9) 144 (0.6) 156 (0.6) 165 (0.6) 136 (0.5) 162 (0.7) 161 (1.5)
2007 156 (0.2) 146 (0.3) 166 (0.3) 164 (0.2) 141 (0.4) 142 (0.6) 167 (1.2) 143 (1.3) 139 (0.6) 147 (0.5) 158 (0.4) 166 (0.3) 141 (0.3) 164 (0.3) 170 (1.2)
                                                             
12th-graders                                                            
2002 148 (0.8) 136 (0.8) 160 (0.9) 154 (0.8) 130 (1.3) 136 (1.5) 151 (2.4) (†) 129 (1.7) 139 (1.1) 149 (0.9) 158 (1.0) 132 (1.4) 152 (1.0) 156 (1.5)
2007 153 (0.6) 144 (0.6) 162 (0.7) 159 (0.6) 137 (1.0) 139 (1.0) 160 (1.7) 140 (3.9) 134 (1.0) 141 (0.8) 152 (0.7) 163 (0.6) 138 (0.7) 157 (0.6) 165 (1.5)
  Percent attaining achievement levels
4th-graders, 2002                                                            
Below Basic 14 (0.4) 19 (0.5) 9 (0.3) 10 (0.2) 23 (0.8) 23 (1.6) 7 (1.1) 25 (2.6) (†) (†) (†) (†) 22 (0.8) 8 (0.3) 10 (1.1)
At or above Basic2 86 (0.4) 81 (0.5) 91 (0.3) 90 (0.2) 77 (0.8) 77 (1.6) 93 (1.1) 75 (2.6) (†) (†) (†) (†) 78 (0.8) 92 (0.3) 90 (1.1)
At or above Proficient3 28 (0.4) 20 (0.5) 36 (0.6) 34 (0.4) 14 (0.7) 17 (0.9) 41 (2.1) 15 (1.7) (†) (†) (†) (†) 15 (0.5) 36 (0.6) 34 (1.6)
At Advanced4 2 (0.1) 1 (0.1) 3 (0.2) 3 (0.2) 1 (0.2) 1 (0.2) 4 (0.6) 1 (0.5) (†) (†) (†) (†) 1 (0.1) 3 (0.2) 3 (0.3)
                                                             
8th-graders                                                            
2002                                                            
Below Basic 15 (0.4) 21 (0.6) 9 (0.3) 10 (0.4) 26 (1.0) 27 (1.0) 12 (1.3) 27 (3.9) 26 (1.3) 19 (0.7) 11 (0.6) 9 (0.4) 26 (0.6) 9 (0.4) 11 (0.7)
At or above Basic2 85 (0.4) 79 (0.6) 91 (0.3) 90 (0.4) 74 (1.0) 73 (1.0) 88 (1.3) 73 (3.9) 74 (1.3) 81 (0.7) 89 (0.6) 91 (0.4) 74 (0.6) 91 (0.4) 89 (0.7)
At or above Proficient3 31 (0.6) 21 (0.6) 42 (0.8) 38 (0.6) 13 (0.6) 16 (1.1) 40 (2.6) 16 (2.5) 14 (1.0) 20 (0.6) 31 (0.8) 43 (0.8) 16 (0.6) 39 (0.8) 39 (1.7)
At Advanced4 2 (0.1) 1 (0.1) 3 (0.2) 3 (0.2) # (†) 1 (0.2) 4 (0.8) 1 (#) # (†) 1 (0.2) 1 (0.2) 4 (0.2) 1 (0.1) 3 (0.2) 4 (0.6)
2007                                                            
Below Basic 12 (0.2) 17 (0.3) 7 (0.2) 7 (0.2) 19 (0.5) 20 (0.6) 8 (0.8) 21 (1.3) 21 (1.0) 16 (0.5) 9 (0.4) 7 (0.2) 20 (0.3) 7 (0.2) 5 (0.6)
At or above Basic2 88 (0.2) 83 (0.3) 93 (0.2) 93 (0.2) 81 (0.5) 80 (0.6) 92 (0.8) 79 (1.3) 79 (1.0) 84 (0.5) 91 (0.4) 93 (0.2) 80 (0.3) 93 (0.2) 95 (0.6)
At or above Proficient3 33 (0.3) 22 (0.3) 43 (0.4) 41 (0.3) 16 (0.6) 18 (0.5) 46 (1.4) 20 (1.6) 14 (0.6) 21 (0.6) 33 (0.5) 44 (0.4) 17 (0.3) 41 (0.4) 49 (1.8)
At Advanced4 2 (0.1) 1 (0.1) 3 (0.1) 3 (0.1) # (†) 1 (0.1) 5 (0.5) 1 (0.4) # (†) # (†) 1 (0.1) 3 (0.1) # (†) 3 (0.1) 4 (0.5)
                                                             
12th-graders                                                            
2002                                                            
Below Basic 26 (0.7) 37 (1.0) 15 (0.7) 21 (0.7) 41 (1.7) 36 (1.8) 24 (2.3) (†) 43 (2.1) 32 (1.2) 23 (1.0) 18 (0.9) 40 (1.5) 23 (0.8) 19 (1.3)
At or above Basic2 74 (0.7) 63 (1.0) 85 (0.7) 79 (0.7) 59 (1.7) 64 (1.8) 76 (2.3) (†) 57 (2.1) 68 (1.2) 77 (1.0) 82 (0.9) 60 (1.5) 77 (0.8) 81 (1.3)
At or above Proficient3 24 (0.8) 14 (0.8) 33 (1.0) 28 (0.9) 9 (1.0) 13 (1.4) 25 (2.8) (†) 8 (1.4) 14 (1.1) 22 (1.3) 32 (1.0) 11 (1.0) 26 (1.0) 29 (1.6)
At Advanced4 2 (0.2) 1 (0.1) 3 (0.3) 2 (0.3) # (†) 1 (0.2) 3 (1.1) (†) # (†) 1 (0.2) 1 (0.2) 3 (0.4) 1 (0.2) 2 (0.3) 2 (0.4)
2007                                                            
Below Basic 18 (0.5) 26 (0.6) 11 (0.5) 14 (0.5) 31 (1.2) 29 (1.1) 14 (1.5) 30 (5.3) 34 (1.5) 27 (1.1) 16 (0.7) 12 (0.4) 31 (1.0) 15 (0.5) 10 (1.0)
At or above Basic2 82 (0.5) 74 (0.6) 89 (0.5) 86 (0.5) 69 (1.2) 71 (1.1) 86 (1.5) 70 (5.3) 66 (1.5) 73 (1.1) 84 (0.7) 88 (0.4) 69 (1.0) 85 (0.5) 90 (1.0)
At or above Proficient3 24 (0.6) 16 (0.6) 32 (0.8) 30 (0.6) 9 (0.8) 11 (0.9) 30 (2.2) 12 (2.6) 8 (1.0) 13 (0.6) 20 (0.7) 34 (0.8) 11 (0.5) 27 (0.7) 36 (2.1)
At Advanced4 1 (0.1) # (†) 1 (0.2) 1 (0.2) # (†) # (†) 1 (0.6) # (†) # (†) # (†) # (†) 2 (0.2) # (†) 1 (0.2) 2 (0.4)
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
1 Scale ranges from 1 to 300 for all three grades, but scores cannot be compared across grades. For example, a score of 156 at grade 8 does not denote higher performance than a score of 153 at grade 12.
2 Basic denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at a given grade.
3 Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.
4 Advanced signifies superior performance for a given grade.
NOTE: Includes public and private schools. Excludes persons unable to be tested due to limited proficiency in English or due to a disability (if the accommodations provided were not sufficient to enable the test to properly reflect the students' writing proficiency). In 2002, the NAEP national samples of 4th- and 8th-graders were obtained by aggregating the samples from each state, rather than by independently selecting national samples for grades 4 and 8. As a consequence, the size of the national samples increased for these grade levels, and smaller differences were found to be statistically significant than would have been detected in previous assessments. Grade 4 was not included in the 2007 survey. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Some data have been revised from previously published figures. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Standard errors appear in parentheses.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2002 and 2007 Writing Assessments, retrieved May 6, 2008, from the NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/nde/). (This table was prepared May 2008.)