Nation's Report Card Home

Summary of Major Findings


Nationally representative samples of about 213,000 fourth-graders and 168,000 eighth-graders participated in the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading. At each grade, students responded to questions designed to measure their reading skills across two types of texts: literary and informational.

Between 900 and 2,700 students from 21 urban districts participated in the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Eighteen of the districts participated in earlier assessment years, and three districts (Albuquerque Public Schools, Dallas Independent School District, and Hillsborough County (FL) Public Schools) participated for the first time in 2011.

The performance of students in each urban district is compared to the performance of public school students in the nation and in large cities (i.e., cities with populations of 250,000 or more). The comparison to the nation's large cities is made because students in these cities represent a peer group with characteristics that are more similar to the characteristics of students in the 21 TUDA districts. Comparisons in performance over time are made for those districts that participated in earlier assessment years.

National Results
State Results
District Results

One district scores higher in 2011 than in 2009 at grade 8

At grade 4, average reading scores did not change significantly from 2009 to 2011 for students in the nation, large cities, or any of the 18 urban districts that participated in both years. At grade 8, average reading scores were higher in 2011 than in 2009 for students in the nation and large cities. However, Charlotte was the only one of the 18 districts participating in both years to have a higher score in 2011 than in 2009.

See complete figures and tables for grade 4 and grade 8.

Use the grade 4 District Motion Chart and the grade 8 District Motion Chart to visualize performance changes over time.

Five districts score higher at both grades than the average for large cities

At both grades 4 and 8, scores in 2011 for Austin, Charlotte, Hillsborough County (FL), Jefferson County (KY), and Miami-Dade were higher than the scores for large cities nationally. In addition, at grade 4 only, scores for Boston, New York City, and San Diego were higher than for large cities nationally.

See interactive charts that show district comparisons for grade 4 and grade 8.

Score gaps between higher- and lower-income students persist

At grade 4, scores for lower-income students in Boston, Charlotte, Hillsborough County (FL), Jefferson County (KY), Miami-Dade, and New York City were higher than the score for lower-income students in large cities. Baltimore City and Miami-Dade had smaller score gaps between higher- and lower-income students in comparison to the score gap for large cities overall. At grade 8, scores for lower-income students in Charlotte, Hillsborough County (FL), Miami-Dade, and New York City were higher than the score for lower-income students in large cities. The score gaps between higher- and lower-income students in Dallas, Detroit, Houston, and New York city were smaller than the score gap for large cities overall. (Family income level is determined by eligibility for the National School Lunch Program).

1 Large city includes students from all cities in the nation with populations of 250,000 or more including the participating districts.
NOTE: Beginning in 2009, results for charter schools are excluded from the TUDA results if they are not included in the school district’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report to the U.S. Department of Education. The score-point differences appear within each symbol and are based on the differences between unrounded average scores. A score-point difference preceded by a minus sign (-) indicates that the score was numerically lower in 2011. DCPS = District of Columbia Public Schools.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2002, 2009, and 2011 Reading Assessments.