2019 Reading Survey Questionnaire Results

As part of the 2019 NAEP reading assessment, students, teachers, and school administrators at grades 4 and 8 answered survey questionnaires. These questionnaires provide information about students’ demographic characteristics, educational experiences, and opportunities to learn reading-related knowledge and skills both inside and outside the classroom. Findings are presented for individual survey questions that measure particular topics of interest. Selected 2019 NAEP reading survey questionnaire results are highlighted below for: students’ Internet access and digital technology at home; teachers’ instructional emphasis on reading; students’ confidence in their reading knowledge and skills; and teachers’ satisfaction and views of school resources.

The highlighted findings demonstrate the range of information available from the 2019 NAEP reading survey questionnaires. They do not provide a complete picture of students' learning experiences inside and outside school. The NAEP reading student, teacher, and school questionnaire data can be explored further using the NAEP Data Explorer. Explore the 2019 NAEP reading student (grade 4 | grade 8), teacher (grade 4 | grade 8), and school (grade 4 | grade 8) questionnaires.* Learn more about the development of NAEP survey questions and indices.

NAEP survey questionnaire responses provide additional information for understanding NAEP performance results. Although comparisons in students' performance are made based on student, teacher, and school characteristics and educational experiences, these results cannot be used to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the characteristics or experiences and student achievement. NAEP is not designed to identify the causes of performance differences. Therefore, results must be interpreted with caution. There are many factors that may influence average student achievement, including local educational policies and practices, the quality of teachers, available resources, and the demographic characteristics of the student body. Such factors may change over time and vary among student groups.

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* The 2019 NAEP teacher and school questionnaires cover three subjects: reading, mathematics, and science.

Interpreting the Results
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NAEP reports results using widely accepted statistical standards; findings are reported based on a statistical significance level set at .05 with appropriate adjustments for multiple comparisons. Students are always used as the unit of analysis when reporting NAEP survey questionnaire responses. The percentages shown are weighted and represent students or students whose teachers or school administrators indicated a specific response on the survey questionnaire. Some student responses are missing due to the inability to link students to their teacher’s or school administrator's responses to the survey questionnaire or due to nonresponse from students, teachers, or school administrators. The denominator of the percentages presented excludes all students with missing information in data for the analysis. To find missing rates, use the NAEP Data Explorer.

Students' Internet Access and Digital Technology at Home
Eighty-one percent of fourth-grade students in 2019 had Internet access and a computer or tablet at home

In 2019, eighty-one percent of all fourth-grade students in the nation reported that they had both Internet access and a computer or tablet that they could use at home. Grade 4 students who reported having both Internet access and a computer or tablet at home had a higher reading score on average (226) than those who reported having only Internet access (214), only a computer or tablet (194), or neither (198) at home.

Percentage of fourth-grade students assessed in NAEP reading, by whether they have Internet access and digital devices available at home for them to use: 2019

The percentages of fourth-graders who reported having both Internet access and a computer or tablet at home in 2019 varied across states/jurisdictions and across participating TUDA districts. While 81 percent of grade 4 public school students in the nation reported having both Internet access and a computer or tablet at home, across states/jurisdictions, the percentages of grade 4 public school students who reported having both resources at home ranged between 70 and 88 percent. While 78 percent of grade 4 students in large city public schools reported having both Internet access and a computer or tablet at home, across TUDA districts, the percentages of grade 4 public school students who reported having both resources at home ranged between 67 and 88 percent. To see detailed results by state/jurisdiction and by TUDA district, use the NAEP Data Explorer tables linked below.

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Instructional Emphasis on Reading Activities
About one-third of higher- and lower-performing fourth-grade students had teachers who always or almost always asked them to summarize a passage when reading in class

The chart below shows the percentages of fourth-grade students by the frequency with which their teachers asked them to do various reading-related activities when reading a story, article, or other passage with their class. Percentages are compared between lower-performing students (scoring below the 25th percentile) and higher-performing students (scoring at or above the 75th percentile) on the 2019 NAEP reading assessment. Note that not all frequency categories are shown for each reading-related activity.

Compared to higher-performing students, a larger percentage of lower-performing students at grade 4 had teachers who reported always or almost always asking their students to summarize a passage and sometimes asking their students to question the motives or feelings of characters when teachers read a story with them.

Percentage of fourth-grade students assessed in NAEP reading whose teachers asked them to do various reading activities when the teachers read a passage with them, by percentiles: 2019

* Significantly different (p < .05) from students performing at or above the 75th percentile.

The percentages of fourth-graders whose teachers always or almost always asked their students to do reading-related activities when reading a story, article, or other passage with their class varied across states/jurisdictions and across participating TUDA districts. For example, in 2019, thirty-three percent of grade 4 public school students in the nation had teachers who reported always or almost always asking their students to summarize a passage. Across states/jurisdictions, the percentages of grade 4 public school students whose teachers reported always or almost always asking their students to do this ranged between 15 and 51 percent. In 2019, thirty-seven percent of grade 4 public school students in large city public schools had teachers who reported always or almost always asking their students to summarize a passage. Across TUDA districts, the percentages of grade 4 public school students whose teachers reported always or almost always asking their students to do this ranged between 24 and 65 percent. To see detailed results by state/jurisdiction and by TUDA district for the full list of reading activities, use the NAEP Data Explorer tables linked below.

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Confidence in Reading Knowledge and Skills
Higher-performing fourth-graders were more confident in their ability to do reading-related tasks

Fourth-grade students answered questions about their confidence in performing a variety of reading-related tasks, such as explaining the meaning of something they have read, or figuring out the main idea of a text when reading. The chart below shows the percentages of fourth-grade students by their belief in their capacity to do these various reading-related tasks. Percentages are compared between lower-performing students (scoring below the 25th percentile) and higher-performing students (scoring at or above the 75th percentile) on the 2019 NAEP reading assessment. Note that not all response categories are shown for each reading-related task.

Compared to lower-performing students, a larger percentage of higher-performing students at grade 4 reported that they believed they definitely can:

  • figure out the meaning of a word they don’t know by using other words in the text;
  • explain the meaning of something they have read;
  • figure out the main idea of a text;
  • find text in a reading passage to help them answer a question on a test;
  • recognize when they do not understand something they are reading; and
  • recognize the difference between fact and opinion in a text.

To see detailed results for the full list of reading-related tasks, use the NAEP Data Explorer tables linked below.

Percentage of fourth-grade students assessed in NAEP reading who reported that they definitely can perform various reading-related tasks, by percentiles: 2019
* Significantly different (p < .05) from students performing at or above the 75th percentile.
Teachers' Satisfaction and Views of School Resources
Teachers’ views of the quality of their schools and resources varied across states and jurisdictions and across districts

As part of the 2019 reading assessment, teachers of fourth-grade students answered questions about their satisfaction with being a teacher. In 2019, five percent of fourth-grade public school students in the nation had teachers who reported that the statement, “I am frustrated as a teacher at my school” described them exactly. Across states/jurisdictions, the percentages of grade 4 public school students whose teachers reported this response ranged between 2 and 10 percent. In 2019, seven percent of fourth-grade students in large city public schools had teachers who reported that the statement, “I am frustrated as a teacher at my school” described them exactly. Across TUDA districts, the percentages of grade 4 public school students whose teachers reported this response ranged between 1 and 11 percent.

Teachers also answered questions about their views on the physical status of their schools and resources. In 2019, six percent of fourth-grade public school students in the nation had teachers who reported that school buildings in need of significant repair were a serious problem. Ten percent of fourth-grade public school students in the nation had teachers who reported that overcrowded classrooms were a serious problem. Finally, six percent of fourth-grade public school students in the nation had teachers who reported that a lack of adequate instructional materials and supplies was a serious problem. Teachers’ views about the physical status of their schools and resources also varied across states/jurisdictions and across participating TUDA districts. For example, across states/jurisdictions, the percentages of grade 4 public school students whose teachers reported that overcrowded classrooms were a serious problem ranged between 2 and 26 percent. In 2019, eleven percent of fourth-grade students in large city public schools had teachers who reported that overcrowded classrooms were a serious problem. Across TUDA districts, the percentages of grade 4 public school students whose teachers reported this response ranged between 2 and 31 percent. To see detailed results by state/jurisdiction and by TUDA district, use the NAEP Data Explorer tables linked below.

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