National and Pilot State Results from 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Reading and Mathematics at Grade 12

Results of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading and mathematics at grade 12 were released on November 18th and show gains in both reading and mathematics performance.

Twelfth-graders from 1,670 public and private schools across the country participated in the 2009 assessment, including approximately 52,000 students assessed in reading and 49,000 students assessed in mathematics. National reading results from the 2009 assessment are compared to results from five earlier assessment years since 1992. The 2009 mathematics results are compared to those from 2005 when the framework for the assessment was changed. Results for student demographic groups (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, and highest level of parental education) are also included in the report.

State results are available for the first time this year for the 11 states that volunteered to participate in the 2009 state pilot program: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, and West Virginia. The report includes detailed profiles on each of the participating states.

Highlights of the results include:

  • Twelfth-graders’ performance in reading and mathematics has improved since 2005:
    • The overall average reading score was 2 points higher than in 2005, but 4 points lower than in 1992.
    • The overall average mathematics score was 3 points higher than in 2005.
  • Some student groups have made gains since 2005, but achievement gaps persist:
    • While the overall average reading score was higher, reading scores did not change significantly for Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native students or for female students.
    • Average mathematics scores increased for twelfth-grade students overall, for all racial/ethnic groups, and for both male and female students.
    • Racial/ethnic and gender achievement gaps did not change significantly in either reading or mathematics.

State-level results: Of the 11 participating states, five had average scores higher than the nation in both reading and mathematics: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and South Dakota.


Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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