TEA News Releases Online
March 24, 2010
African-American students in Texas earn sixth highest score on NAEP reading test
AUSTIN – African-American fourth-grade students in Texas earned the sixth highest score on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading test, results released today show.
The exam, often called “the nation’s report card,” was taken by 172,533 fourth-grade students in the nation’s public schools, including 5,954 youngsters in Texas. A NAEP reading exam was also given to 155,392 eighth-grade public school students across the country, including 5,733 in Texas.
Overall, the 2009 scores were statistically identical to the 2007 scores nationally and in Texas at both grades. NAEP exams are given every two years.
Texas’ fourth-grade students earned a scale score of 219, while the national average was 220. In 2007, both the national and Texas score was 220. Texas students had the 34th highest score among 52 states and jurisdictions. However when the scores are examined by ethnic group, the ranks were significantly higher.
African-American fourth graders earned a score of 213, which is statistically significantly higher than the score of 204 posted by African-American students across the country. Only students in Department of Defense schools, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Delaware earned higher scale scores.
White fourth-graders in Texas had the 12th highest score in 2009, earning a 232 compared to the national average of 229. Hispanic Texans earned the 19th highest score with a scale score of 210, which was significantly higher than the 204 earned by Hispanics nationally.
The highest scoring ethnic group in Texas was Asian/Pacific Islanders who received an average scale score of 242, compared to a national average of 234.
Eighth grade results
At eighth grade, Texas students earned an average scale score of 260, compared to a national average of 262. NAEP officials do not consider that difference statistically significant. That score ranked Texas 35th among the 52 states and jurisdictions that take the NAEP. In 2007, both the state and nation had average scores of 261. However, when the scores are examined by ethnic group, all of Texas’ major ethnic groups outscored their counterparts nationally.
The scores of white Texas eighth-grade students were the 11th highest posted. These Texans had an average score of 273, compared to 271 nationally.
African-American Texans earned a score of 249, compared to a national average of 245. They had the 18th highest score. Hispanic Texans had an average scale score of 251, which is statistically significantly higher than the national average score of 248. Hispanic Texans ranked 20th among the states and jurisdictions.
Asian/Pacific Islanders in Texas had the highest score, earning an average score of 280, compared to a national average of 273.
“Texas and the nation have focused a great deal of attention and resources on reading improvement over the past decade. Our state has become much more ethnically and economically diverse during this period, yet we have managed to hold our scores steady. When the NAEP scores are examined by ethnic groups, Texas students’ performance stacks up favorably when compared with students across the country,” said Commissioner of Education Robert Scott.
“We know there is more to do. We expect that our revised curriculum standards, the college and workplace readiness standards, and new testing program will move this effort forward,” he said.