MIAMI — A national education assessment released Thursday shows that high school seniors have made some improvement in reading, but remain below the achievement levels reached nearly two decades ago.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress tested 52,000 students in reading and 49,000 in math across 1,670 school districts in 2009.
Students scored an average of 288 out of 500 points in reading comprehension, 2 points above the 2005 score but still below the 1992 average of 292. Thirty-eight percent of high school seniors were classified as at or above the "proficient" level, while 74 percent were considered at or above "basic."
Reading scores for fourth and eighth grade students in 2009 were only four points higher than in 1992.
Math scores rose from 150 to 153 between 2005 and 2009. The test was significantly changed in 2005, so a comparison with scores from earlier years was not applicable.
The results of students in 11 states that volunteered to participate in a pilot state program were also released, with Florida, along with Arkansas and West Virginia, scoring lower than the national average in both reading and math.
Five states — Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and South Dakota — had higher scores in both subjects. Idaho and Illinois had scores that were higher in reading but not significantly different in math. New Jersey had a higher math score but a similar reading score.