Fourth Grade Reading
May 16, 2001
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) recently released the results of the 4th grade reading assessment conducted in 2000. (By NAEP standards, alas, this is speedy: data available just a year after the test was given!) The news is not good: average scores were essentially flat across the 1990's. That would be okay if they were flat at a high level but they're flat at a woefully low level. Almost 2 fourth graders in 5 are "below basic" and only one in three is "proficient" (or better). When the data are disaggregated, the results become even more alarming: among black and Hispanic youngsters, roughly three-fifths don't reach "basic" and fewer than one in six is proficient. (This is also true for low-income children.) Though black youngsters fared slightly better in 2000 than in earlier years, the gains are meager compared to the gap that remains. The Nation's Report Card: Fourth-Grade Reading 2000, April 2001. The publication number is NCES 2001-499. Copies can be obtained by phoning (877) 433-7827, ordered on-line at www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html or downloaded from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard.