Raw Data: NAEP Reading Scores in Grades 4 and 8

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The 2011 NAEP reading and math scores were released today for 4th and 8th graders, and unsurprisingly, they aren’t very different from the 2009 scores. It’s only been two years, after all. Here’s the basic 20-year trend:

Since 1992, average scores have gone up four points in 4th grade and five points in 8th grade. Using the usual rule of thumb, that’s an improvement of about half a grade level. Black and Hispanic students have done a bit better, improving their scores by roughly a full grade level since 1992. Here’s a breakdown by reading proficiency levels:

This is not spectacular progress, but it’s progress. Since 1992, the number of students testing “Below Basic” is down significantly in both grade levels for all ethnic groups, and the number of students testing “Proficient” or above is up a fair amount.

Test scores for 11th graders are usually not as encouraging: most of the gains in 4th and 8th grade seem to wash out in high school. But we’ll have to wait a bit to see those scores. For the time being, it appears that we’re continuing to make steady but slow progress. Whether that’s good enough is a different question, and not one that the NAEP can answer. This is just a bit of raw data for your consideration.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate