State Achievement-Level Results

NAEP Achievement-Level Map
Between 24 and 49 percent of fourth-graders performed at or above NAEP Proficient in reading across states/jurisdictions

In 2019, the percentage of fourth-grade public school students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading was 34 percent nationally. Across the states/jurisdictions, the percentage of public school fourth-graders performing at or above NAEP Proficient in reading ranged from 24 percent to 49 percent.

NAEP achievement levels are performance standards that describe what students should know and be able to do. Results are reported as percentages of students performing at or above three achievement levels (NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced). Students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level on NAEP assessments demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter. It should be noted that the NAEP Proficient achievement level does not represent grade level proficiency as determined by other assessment standards (e.g., state or district assessments). NAEP achievement levels are to be used on a trial basis and should be interpreted and used with caution. Find out more about the NAEP reading achievement levels.

Use the NAEP State Profiles Tool to compare NAEP achievement-level performance between states/jurisdictions and the nation (public) and to see trends in states/jurisdictions by NAEP achievement level.

See how percentages of fourth-grade public school students performing at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading in each state/jurisdiction compare to the nation by clicking on the state/jurisdiction in the map.

Scroll down below the map to explore the percentage of students who performed at each of the NAEP reading achievement levels by state/jurisdiction in 2019.

Read about NAEP achievement-level setting
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NAEP achievement-level setting is based on the judgments of a broadly representative panel of teachers, education specialists, and members of the general public. The authorizing legislation for NAEP requires that the achievement levels be used on a trial basis until the Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) determines that the achievement levels are reasonable, valid, and informative to the public (20 USC § 9622(e)(2)(C)). The NCES Commissioner’s determination is to be based on a congressionally mandated, rigorous, and independent evaluation. The latest evaluation of the achievement levels was conducted by a committee convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2016. The evaluation concluded that further evidence should be gathered to determine whether the achievement levels are reasonable, valid, and informative. Accordingly, the NCES Commissioner determined that the trial status of the achievement levels should be maintained at this time. Read more about how NAEP achievement levels are set. In 2018, the National Assessment Governing Board issued a revised Policy Statement clarifying that the NAEP Proficient level is not intended to reflect grade-level performance expectations but is specific to performance on NAEP assessments. Read the Governing Board Policy Statement.

Comparison between states/jurisdictions and the nation of fourth-grade public school students performing at or above NAEP Proficient in NAEP reading: 2019
Click on any state to see the percentage of students at or above NAEP Proficient compared to the nation
DS = Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), a federally-operated nonpublic school system responsible for educating children of military families. See more about DoDEA. NAEP achievement levels are to be used on a trial basis and should be interpreted and used with caution.
State Results by NAEP Achievement Levels
Higher percentages of fourth-grade students performed at or above NAEP Proficient in one state compared to 2017

In comparison to 2017, the percentages of students who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading in 2019 were,

  • higher in 1 state,
  • lower in 7 states, and
  • not significantly different in 44 states/jurisdictions.

The chart below lists the percentages of fourth-grade public school students performing at each of the NAEP reading achievement levels by states/jurisdictions in 2019.

Set the baseline at either NAEP Basic or NAEP Proficient to see the percentages of students performing at or above that NAEP achievement level in each state/jurisdiction. Click "Show NAEP achievement-level details" to see how the percentages of fourth-grade students at each of the NAEP achievement levels compare to nation (public). Click "Hide NAEP achievement-level details" to see how the percentages of students at or above the selected baseline NAEP achievement level compare to the nation (public).

Additional State Resources

State Profiles Tool

See how a state performed over time, view a state's demographics and school characteristics, download snapshot reports, and compare each state's overall performance to performance nationwide or in other states.

State Snapshots

Download a one-page report containing key findings and trends in a condensed format. Reports contain overall student results, bar charts showing NAEP achievement levels, and tables displaying results by key reporting groups.