Native American 12th Graders Make Gains in Math and Reading, Nation’s Report Card Shows


The results of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), or the Nation’s Report Card, are out, and they show that Native American 12th graders have made gains in both math and reading since 2005.

The Nation’s Report Card is the only nationally representative measure of what American students know and can do. For the first time, the 2009 results show the performance of 12th-grade public school students in the 11 states that volunteered to participate: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota and West Virginia.

The 2009 NAEP tested representative samples of 12th graders from 1,670 schools. About 52,000 students were assessed in reading and 49,000 in math. The test is administered and analyzed by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Reading results are reported as average scores on a 0 to 500 scale, and math scores are reported on a 0 to 300 scale. The reading results are compared to results from five previous assessments conducted since 1992; the math results are compared only to 2005, when a new framework was adopted.

In the subject of math, the nation’s 12th graders scored 3 points higher in 2009 than in 2005. While all racial/ethnic groups have made gains since 2005, for American Indian/Alaska Native students, the average score was up 10 points. However, the score was about 17 points lower than that of White students and 31 points lower than that of Asian/Pacific Islander students.

In reading, the average score for U.S. 12th graders was 2 points higher than in 2005, but 4 points lower than in 1992. The scores of all racial/ethnic groups rose, but not as significantly as in math. The average score for AI/AN students increased by just 4 points, leaving their score 13 points behind the score for White students and 15 points behind the score for Asian/Pacific Islander students.

Scores varied according to gender, with males, overall, scoring about 3 points higher than females in math and females scoring around 12 points higher than males in reading.

Where the schools are located also made a difference. Students attending suburban schools scored higher in both math and reading than students in city, town and rural schools.

“We are encouraged with the gains students have made since 2005, but we are disappointed in declines compared to 1992. Improvement is still needed in both reading and math,” said David Driscoll, chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, in a press release on Nov. 18 announcing the results.

You can read the Nation’s Report Card online. Go to:

One Comment

  1. Wesley Edmo says:

    The issue locally with our Bureau of Indian Education funded school is that that they are graduating at a 10th grade level. Now that is not progress so we need to make sure we are graduating students who are able to walk into a college class room and be competitive. That needs to be the FOCUS FOR US ALL. Let’s prepare our students for SUCCESS. Thanks. WE


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