Texas Ethnic Groups Score Higher than
National Average on NAEP Tests
African American fourth-grade students in Texas earned the
sixth-highest score on the 2009 National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP) reading test, results released in
The exam, often called “the nation’s report card,” was taken
by 172,533 fourth-grade students in the nation’s public
schools, including 5,954 Texas students. An NAEP reading
exam was also given to 155,392 eighth-grade public school
students across the country, including 5,733 in Texas.
Overall, the 2009 scores were statistically identical to the
2007 scores nationally and in Texas at both grades. NAEP
exams are given every two years.
Texas’ fourth-grade students earned a scale score of 219,
while the national average was 220. In 2007, both the
national and Texas score was 220. Texas students had the
34th-highest score among 52 states and jurisdictions.
However, when the scores are examined by ethnic group, the
ranks were significantly higher. African American fourth-graders in Texas earned a score of 213, significantly higher
than the score of 204 posted by African American students
across the country. Only students in Department of Defense
schools, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and
Delaware earned higher scale scores.
White fourth-graders in Texas had the 12th-highest score in
2009, earning a 232 compared to the national average of
229. Hispanic Texans earned the 19th-highest score, with a
scale score of 210, significantly higher than the 204 earned
by Hispanics nationally.
The highest-scoring ethnic group in Texas was Asian/Pacific
Islanders, who received an average scale score of 242,
compared to a national average of 234.
In eighth grade, Texas students earned an average scale score
of 260, compared to a national average of 262. NAEP
officials do not consider that difference statistically significant. That score ranked Texas 35th among the 52 states and
jurisdictions that take the NAEP. In 2007, both the state and
nation had average scores of 261.
However, when the scores are examined by ethnic group, all
of Texas’ major ethnic groups outscored their counterparts
The scores of white Texas eighth-grade students were the
11th-highest posted. These Texans had an average score of
273, compared to 271 nationally. African American Texans
earned a score of 249, compared to a national average of
245. They had the 18th-highest score. Hispanic Texans had
an average scale score of 251, compared to the national
average score of 248. Hispanic Texans ranked 20th among
the states and jurisdictions. Asian/Pacific Islanders in Texas
had the highest score, earning an average score of 280,
compared to a national average of 273.
“Texas and the nation have focused a great deal of attention
and resources on reading improvement over the past decade.
Our state has become much more ethnically and economically
diverse during this period, yet we have managed to hold our
scores steady. When the NAEP scores are examined by ethnic
groups, Texas students’ performance stacks up favorably
when compared with students across the country,” said
Commissioner of Education Robert Scott. “We know there is
more to do. We expect that our revised curriculum standards,
the college and workplace readiness standards, and new
testing program will move this effort forward.”H