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New Vocabulary Results from the 2009 and 2011 NAEP Reading Assessments

At its most fundamental level, reading comprehension requires knowing the meaning of words. Because vocabulary plays such an important role in reading comprehension, the measurement of students’ understanding of word meaning was integrated with the measurement of passage comprehension in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment beginning in 2009.

Explore the vocabulary report


National, State, and District Results

National: Compared to 2009, reading scores for fourth-graders are unchanged and eighth-graders score higher.

  • See national summary

State: Students in Hawaii and Maryland make gains since 2009 at both grades.

  • See state summary

District: At grade 4, students in none of the urban districts score higher in 2011 than in 2009. At grade 8, students in Charlotte score higher in 2011 than in 2009.

  • See district summary


Dig Deeper into the National, State, and District Results

To investigate the relationship between students’ achievement and various contextual factors, NAEP collects information from teachers about their background, education, and training. On the teacher questionnaires for grade 4 and grade 8 teachers were asked to indicate the highest degree that they hold. Explore this contextual factor by navigating through the slides below for the nation, states, and the districts participating in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).


Explore these results further.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 2005-2011 Reading Assessments.

Hide 2011 vocabulary section Explore the Vocabulary Report

  • 2011 Vocabulary ReportDownload a copy of the report to print or share.
  • Read the statement from Jack Buckley, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • Read the National Assessment Governing Board's news release.
show 2011 reading TUDA section Explore the Reading 2011 Trial Urban District Report Card

show 2011 reading section Explore the 2011 Reading Report Card

View State Snapshots

NCES provides a customized summary report for each state, district, or jurisdiction that participates in the NAEP assessments.

Select a state/jurisdiction and grade to view a State Snapshot report.

Select an urban district and grade to view a District Snapshot report.

View the Reading Framework

The Reading Framework serves as the blueprint for the assessment, describing the specific reading skills that should be assessed.

For more information, download the Reading Framework for the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress.