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Average reading scores for White, Black, and Hispanic 9-year-olds higher in 2008 than in all previous assessments

Scale Score
 White – Black Gap
 White – Hispanic Gap

Trend in NAEP reading average scores for 9-year-old students, by race/ethnicity


  • The average reading scores in 2008 for White, Black, and Hispanic 9-year-olds were higher than in all previous assessments. 
  • At age 9, the average reading score for White students was 14 points higher in 2008 than in 1971, while the score for Black students was 34 points higher than their score in 1971.
  • Nine-year-old Hispanic students in 2008 showed an 8-point gain in their scores compared to 2004 and a 25-point gain1 compared to 1975.

* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2008.
1The score-point change is based on the difference of unrounded scores as opposed to the rounded scores shown in the figure.
NOTE: Black includes African American, and Hispanic includes Latino. Race categories exclude Hispanic origin. Results for the Hispanic race/ethnicity category in 1971 are not available. View complete data with standard errors.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 1971–2008 Long-Term Trend Reading Assessments.

To read more details on comparisons across years, see About the Long-Term Trend Assessment.
To read more details related to student group categories, see NAEP Long-Term Trend Reporting Groups.

2008 Long-Term Trend Report Card 2008 Long-Term Trend Report Card