State Average Scores

State Score Change Map
Lower fourth-grade reading scores in 17 states compared to 2017

When comparing state/jurisdiction average scores in reading for fourth-grade public school students in 2019 with those from 2017, the previous assessment year,

  • 1 state scored higher,
  • 17 states scored lower, and
  • 34 states/jurisdictions had no significant change in scores.

Results for states/jurisdictions reflect the performance of students in public schools only and are reported along with the results for public school students in the nation. Most states with lower scores than in 2017 scored higher than or not significantly different from the national public average score in 2019.

Explore the interactive map below to see which states saw increases or decreases and by how much. Scroll down to explore the magnitude of average score changes across states.

The table below shows the number of states/jurisdictions with score increases or decreases in 2019 and how many states/jurisdictions scored higher, lower, or not significantly different than the nation (public) in NAEP reading.

Number of states/jurisdictions in 2019
Change in average NAEP reading score between 2017 and 2019TotalHigher than nation (public)Not significantly different from nation (public)Lower than nation (public)
Score increase1010
No significant change in score3491510
Score decrease17872

To compare average reading scores between states/jurisdictions and the nation (public), use the NAEP State Profiles Tool.

Size of State Score Changes
Examine the magnitude of score changes

In the 17 states where scores were lower in 2019 than 2017, the size of the score differences ranged from 3 to 6 points.

To view score changes for fourth-grade public school students in reading between 2019 and previous assessment years, or between other combinations of assessment years, use the drop-down menu to select a comparison year. To see whether the score change in one state/jurisdiction is statistically different from the score change in another state/jurisdiction, use the NAEP State Profiles Tool. Find out how statistical significance is determined.


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.