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Digest of Education Statistics
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Table 221.90. Percentage of students at or above selected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading score levels, by age, sex, and race/ethnicity: Selected years, 1971 through 2012
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Age, sex, race/ethnicity, and score level 1971 1975 1980 1984 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1999 2004 2008 2012
1   2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
9-year-olds                                                      
Total                                                      
Level 1501 91   (0.5) 93 (0.4) 95 (0.4) 92 (0.4) 93 (0.7) 90 (0.9) 92 (0.4) 92 (0.7) 93 (0.6) 93 (0.7) 94 (0.5) 96 (0.4) 96 (0.4)
Level 2002 59   (1.0) 62 (0.8) 68 (1.0) 62 (0.8) 63 (1.3) 59 (1.3) 62 (1.1) 63 (1.4) 64 (1.3) 64 (1.4) 69 (1.0) 73 (0.9) 74 (0.9)
Level 2503 16   (0.6) 15 (0.6) 18 (0.8) 17 (0.7) 17 (1.1) 18 (1.0) 16 (0.8) 17 (1.2) 17 (0.8) 16 (1.0) 19 (0.7) 21 (0.8) 22 (0.7)
                                                       
Male                                                      
Level 1501 88   (0.7) 91 (0.5) 93 (0.5) 90 (0.5) 90 (0.9) 88 (1.4) 90 (0.8) 90 (1.0) 92 (0.8) 91 (1.1) 92 (0.6) 94 (0.6) 94 (0.6)
Level 2002 53   (1.2) 56 (1.0) 63 (1.1) 58 (1.0) 58 (1.8) 54 (1.9) 57 (1.6) 59 (1.5) 58 (2.0) 61 (1.8) 64 (1.3) 70 (1.2) 71 (1.0)
Level 2503 12   (0.6) 12 (0.6) 15 (0.9) 16 (0.8) 16 (1.4) 16 (1.2) 14 (1.0) 15 (1.2) 14 (1.3) 15 (1.3) 17 (0.8) 19 (1.0) 21 (0.8)
                                                       
Female                                                      
Level 1501 93   (0.5) 95 (0.3) 96 (0.4) 94 (0.5) 95 (1.0) 92 (1.1) 94 (0.6) 94 (0.8) 95 (0.6) 95 (0.8) 96 (0.5) 97 (0.4) 97 (0.4)
Level 2002 65   (1.1) 68 (0.8) 73 (1.0) 65 (1.0) 67 (1.4) 64 (1.2) 67 (1.2) 67 (1.9) 70 (1.6) 67 (1.6) 73 (1.2) 77 (1.1) 77 (1.1)
Level 2503 19   (0.8) 18 (0.8) 21 (1.0) 18 (0.8) 19 (1.2) 21 (1.2) 18 (1.1) 18 (1.5) 19 (1.3) 17 (1.3) 20 (1.0) 22 (1.0) 23 (0.9)
                                                       
White                                                      
Level 1501 94 5 (0.4) 96 (0.3) 97 (0.2) 95 (0.3) 95 (0.7) 94 (0.9) 96 (0.5) 96 (0.5) 96 (0.6) 97 (0.4) 97 (0.4) 98 (0.4) 98 (0.4)
Level 2002 65 5 (1.0) 69 (0.8) 74 (0.7) 69 (0.9) 68 (1.6) 66 (1.4) 69 (1.2) 70 (1.5) 71 (1.5) 73 (1.6) 77 (1.0) 81 (1.0) 82 (0.8)
Level 2503 18 5 (0.7) 17 (0.7) 21 (0.9) 21 (0.8) 20 (1.5) 23 (1.2) 20 (1.0) 20 (1.5) 20 (1.1) 20 (1.4) 24 (0.8) 27 (1.1) 28 (0.8)
                                                       
Black                                                      
Level 1501 70 5 (1.7) 81 (1.1) 85 (1.4) 81 (1.2) 83 (2.4) 77 (2.7) 80 (2.2) 79 (2.4) 84 (1.9) 82 (2.5) 88 (1.7) 91 (1.1) 94 (1.0)
Level 2002 22 5 (1.5) 32 (1.5) 41 (1.9) 37 (1.5) 39 (2.9) 34 (3.4) 37 (2.2) 38 (2.8) 42 (3.2) 36 (3.0) 50 (2.3) 58 (2.3) 61 (2.1)
Level 2503 2 5 (0.5) 2 (0.3) 4 (0.6) 5 (0.6) 6 (1.2) 5 (1.5) 5 (0.8) 4 (1.5) 6 (1.1) 4 (1.1) 7 (0.8) 9 (0.9) 10 (1.1)
                                                       
Hispanic                                                      
Level 1501 [6]   (†) 81 (2.5) 84 (1.8) 82 (3.0) 86 (3.5) 84 (1.8) 83 (2.6) 80 (4.6) 86 (2.4) 87 (3.3) 89 (1.3) 93 (0.8) 92 (1.1)
Level 2002 [6]   (†) 35 (3.0) 42 (2.6) 40 (2.7) 46 (3.3) 41 (2.7) 43 (3.5) 37 (4.6) 48 (3.8) 44 (3.4) 53 (1.7) 62 (1.7) 63 (1.8)
Level 2503 [6]   (†) 3 (0.5) 5 (1.4) 4 (0.7) 9 (2.3) 6 (2.0) 7 (2.3) 6 (1.6) 7 (3.2) 6 (1.7) 7 (0.8) 10 (1.2) 11 (1.0)
                                                       
13-year-olds                                                      
Total                                                      
Level 2002 93   (0.5) 93 (0.4) 95 (0.4) 94 (0.3) 95 (0.6) 94 (0.6) 93 (0.7) 92 (0.6) 92 (0.7) 93 (0.7) 92 (0.6) 94 (0.4) 94 (0.4)
Level 2503 58   (1.1) 59 (1.0) 61 (1.1) 59 (0.8) 59 (1.3) 59 (1.0) 62 (1.4) 60 (1.2) 60 (1.3) 61 (1.5) 59 (1.1) 63 (0.8) 66 (1.3)
Level 3004 10   (0.5) 10 (0.5) 11 (0.5) 11 (0.4) 11 (0.8) 11 (0.6) 15 (0.9) 14 (0.8) 14 (1.0) 15 (1.1) 12 (0.8) 13 (0.5) 15 (1.0)
                                                       
Male                                                      
Level 2002 91   (0.7) 91 (0.5) 93 (0.6) 92 (0.4) 93 (1.0) 91 (0.9) 90 (1.1) 89 (1.1) 89 (1.2) 91 (0.9) 89 (0.8) 92 (0.6) 93 (0.7)
Level 2503 52   (1.2) 52 (1.1) 56 (1.2) 54 (0.9) 52 (1.9) 52 (1.5) 55 (2.0) 53 (1.9) 53 (1.6) 55 (1.9) 55 (1.3) 59 (1.2) 62 (1.6)
Level 3004 7   (0.5) 7 (0.4) 9 (0.7) 9 (0.5) 9 (0.9) 8 (0.8) 13 (1.1) 10 (0.7) 10 (1.0) 11 (1.1) 11 (0.9) 11 (0.7) 13 (1.1)
                                                       
Female                                                      
Level 2002 95   (0.4) 95 (0.4) 96 (0.4) 96 (0.3) 97 (0.6) 96 (0.6) 95 (0.7) 95 (0.6) 95 (0.6) 96 (0.7) 95 (0.6) 96 (0.5) 96 (0.4)
Level 2503 64   (1.1) 65 (1.2) 65 (1.1) 64 (0.8) 65 (1.4) 65 (1.5) 68 (1.4) 68 (1.7) 66 (1.6) 66 (1.9) 65 (1.3) 66 (1.0) 69 (1.4)
Level 3004 12   (0.6) 13 (0.7) 13 (0.6) 13 (0.6) 13 (0.9) 14 (0.9) 18 (1.1) 18 (1.1) 17 (1.3) 18 (1.7) 14 (1.0) 16 (0.9) 17 (1.1)
                                                       
White                                                      
Level 2002 96 5 (0.3) 96 (0.2) 97 (0.2) 96 (0.2) 96 (0.6) 96 (0.6) 96 (0.6) 95 (0.7) 95 (0.5) 96 (0.6) 95 (0.5) 96 (0.4) 96 (0.6)
Level 2503 64 5 (0.9) 65 (0.9) 68 (0.8) 65 (0.8) 64 (1.5) 65 (1.2) 68 (1.4) 68 (1.3) 69 (1.4) 69 (1.7) 68 (1.1) 72 (1.2) 74 (1.8)
Level 3004 11 5 (0.5) 12 (0.5) 14 (0.6) 13 (0.6) 12 (0.9) 13 (0.9) 18 (1.1) 17 (1.0) 17 (1.3) 18 (1.4) 16 (0.9) 18 (0.8) 19 (1.0)
                                                       
Black                                                      
Level 2002 74 5 (1.7) 77 (1.3) 84 (1.7) 85 (1.2) 91 (2.2) 88 (2.3) 82 (2.7) 81 (2.3) 82 (3.2) 85 (2.3) 86 (1.5) 91 (1.1) 90 (1.3)
Level 2503 21 5 (1.2) 25 (1.6) 30 (2.0) 35 (1.3) 40 (2.3) 42 (3.5) 38 (2.7) 36 (3.5) 34 (3.9) 38 (2.7) 40 (2.3) 48 (2.3) 48 (2.5)
Level 3004 1 5 (0.2) 2 (0.3) 2 (0.5) 3 (0.6) 5 (1.2) 5 (0.8) 6 (1.4) 4 (1.2) 3 (0.9) 5 (1.4) 4 (0.7) 6 (0.8) 6 (0.9)
                                                       
Hispanic                                                      
Level 2002 [6]   (†) 81 (2.3) 87 (2.4) 86 (1.7) 87 (2.6) 86 (2.4) 83 (3.5) 82 (2.7) 85 (3.2) 89 (2.8) 85 (1.9) 87 (1.3) 91 (1.2)
Level 2503 [6]   (†) 32 (3.6) 35 (2.6) 39 (2.3) 38 (4.4) 37 (2.9) 41 (5.1) 34 (3.9) 38 (3.7) 43 (3.8) 44 (2.3) 44 (1.8) 51 (1.7)
Level 3004 [6]   (†) 2 (1.0) 2 (0.6) 4 (1.0) 4 (1.9) 4 (1.2) 6 (1.9) 4 (1.8) 5 (1.7) 6 (1.8) 5 (1.2) 5 (0.6) 6 (0.5)
                                                       
17-year-olds                                                      
Total                                                      
Level 2503 79   (0.9) 80 (0.7) 81 (0.9) 83 (0.6) 86 (0.8) 84 (1.0) 83 (0.8) 81 (1.0) 82 (0.8) 82 (1.0) 79 (0.9) 80 (0.6) 82 (0.6)
Level 3004 39   (1.0) 39 (0.8) 38 (1.1) 40 (1.0) 41 (1.5) 41 (1.0) 43 (1.1) 41 (1.2) 39 (1.4) 40 (1.4) 36 (1.2) 39 (0.8) 39 (0.9)
                                                       
Male                                                      
Level 2503 74   (1.0) 76 (0.8) 78 (1.0) 80 (0.7) 83 (1.4) 80 (1.4) 78 (1.2) 76 (1.5) 77 (1.2) 77 (1.5) 73 (1.2) 76 (0.8) 79 (0.8)
Level 3004 34   (1.1) 34 (1.0) 35 (1.3) 36 (1.0) 37 (2.3) 36 (1.5) 38 (1.6) 36 (1.9) 34 (1.9) 34 (1.7) 32 (1.2) 35 (0.9) 36 (1.2)
                                                       
Female                                                      
Level 2503 83   (1.0) 84 (0.9) 84 (1.0) 87 (0.6) 88 (1.1) 89 (1.0) 87 (1.1) 86 (1.2) 87 (1.0) 87 (1.0) 84 (0.9) 84 (0.8) 85 (0.7)
Level 3004 44   (1.2) 44 (0.9) 41 (1.2) 45 (1.1) 44 (2.0) 47 (1.3) 48 (1.5) 46 (1.5) 45 (1.7) 45 (1.8) 41 (1.6) 43 (1.0) 42 (1.1)
                                                       
White                                                      
Level 2503 84 5 (0.7) 86 (0.6) 87 (0.6) 88 (0.5) 89 (0.9) 88 (1.1) 88 (0.9) 86 (1.1) 87 (0.8) 87 (1.3) 83 (0.9) 87 (0.6) 87 (0.6)
Level 3004 43 5 (0.9) 44 (0.8) 43 (1.1) 47 (1.1) 45 (1.6) 48 (1.2) 50 (1.4) 48 (1.4) 46 (1.5) 46 (1.5) 42 (1.3) 47 (1.0) 47 (1.3)
                                                       
Black                                                      
Level 2503 40 5 (1.6) 43 (1.6) 44 (2.0) 65 (1.5) 76 (2.4) 69 (2.8) 61 (2.3) 66 (4.1) 68 (4.0) 66 (2.5) 64 (2.2) 67 (2.4) 70 (1.4)
Level 3004 8 5 (0.9) 8 (0.7) 7 (0.8) 16 (1.0) 25 (3.1) 20 (1.8) 17 (2.5) 22 (3.7) 18 (2.2) 17 (1.7) 16 (1.8) 21 (1.5) 22 (1.5)
                                                       
Hispanic                                                      
Level 2503 [6]   (†) 53 (4.1) 62 (3.1) 68 (2.4) 71 (4.8) 75 (4.7) 69 (4.0) 63 (4.4) 65 (4.2) 68 (4.3) 67 (2.4) 70 (1.5) 74 (1.3)
Level 3004 [6]   (†) 13 (2.7) 17 (2.1) 21 (3.0) 23 (3.7) 27 (3.3) 27 (3.2) 20 (3.0) 20 (4.8) 24 (3.8) 23 (2.1) 22 (1.0) 26 (1.3)
†Not applicable.    
1 Students scoring 150 (or higher) are able to follow brief written directions and carry out simple, discrete reading tasks.
2 Students scoring 200 (or higher) are able to understand, combine ideas, and make inferences based on short uncomplicated passages about specific or sequentially related information.
3 Students scoring 250 (or higher) are able to search for specific information, interrelate ideas, and make generalizations about literature, science, and social studies materials.
4 Students scoring 300 (or higher) are able to find, understand, summarize, and explain relatively complicated literary and informational material.
5 Data for 1971 include persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
6 Test scores of Hispanics were not tabulated separately.
NOTE: The NAEP reading scores have been evaluated at certain performance levels, as outlined in footnotes 1 through 4. Scale ranges from 0 to 500. Includes public and private schools. For assessment years prior to 2004, accommodations were not permitted. For 2004 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 1999 Trends in Academic Progress; and 2004, 2008, and 2012 Long-Term Trend Reading Assessments, retrieved May 12, 2009, and July 15, 2013, from the Long-Term Trend NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared July 2013.)

2015 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest