National Achievement-Level Results
Thirty-seven percent of fourth-grade students performed at or above the Proficient level on the reading assessment in 2017. This percentage was not significantly different compared to 2015 but was significantly higher in comparison to 1992, the first reading assessment year.
Sixty-eight percent of fourth-grade students performed at or above the Basic level in 2017. This percentage was not significantly different from 2015 but was higher compared to 1992. Nine percent of fourth graders performed at the Advanced level in 2017, which was higher in comparison to 1992.
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 (Basic, Proficient, and Advanced). Students performing at or above the 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). Find out more about the reading achievement levels.
Scroll down to explore achievement level results for student groups.
INTERPRETING THE RESULTS
NAEP achievement-level setting is based on the collective judgments of a broadly representative panel of teachers, education specialists, and members of the general public. The authorizing legislation for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (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 Â§ 9622(e)(2)(C)). The NCES Commissionerâ€™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.
The chart below lists the percentages of fourth-grade students performing at each of the reading achievement levels in 2017. Click to set the baseline at either Basic or Proficient to see the percentages of students performing at or above Basic or at or above Proficient. Set the view to cumulative achievement level to see the percentage of students at or above Basic or at or above Proficient. Set the view to discrete achievement level to see the percentage of students at each of the achievement levels.
In 2017, the percentages of fourth-grade students who performed at or above Basic and at or above Proficient in reading were not significantly different for most student groups compared to 2015. In comparison to 2015, the percentages of students who performed at or above the Basic level were lower for students eligible and not eligible for the National School Lunch Program, and for students attending schools in the south region.Compared to the first assessment year in 1992, the percentages of White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander students who performed at or above the Basic and at or above the Proficient levels were higher in 2017. Higher percentages of male and female fourth-graders and fourth-graders attending public schools performed at or above Basic and at or above Proficient compared to 1992.