Average eighth-grade reading scores fluctuated more for both Michigan and Florida. From 2002 to 2011, Michigan’s average eighth-grade reading score on the NAEP for all students did not change in a statistically significant way, moving from 264.7 to 265.2.[*] The average for all Florida students from 1998 to 2011, meanwhile, increased from 254.5 to 262.1, a 3.0 percent increase that was statistically significant. Nationally, the average eighth-grade reading score of 263.6 in 2011 was a new high, and although it represented a statistically significant increase from 260.7 in 1998, it was up only 1.1 percent. Florida moved closer to the national average by 2011, yet still wound up lower than Michigan and the nation (see Graphic 11).

Graphic 11: Average NAEP Eighth-Grade Reading Scores in the United States, Michigan and Florida, All Students, 1998-2011

Graphic 11: Average NAEP Eighth-Grade Reading Scores in the United States, Michigan and Florida, All Students, 1998-2011 - click to enlarge

Source: “NAEP Data Explorer: Main NDE,” (National Center for Education Statistics; United States Department of Education), http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/ accessed March 21, 2013).

Average eighth-grade reading scores for lower-income students declined somewhat in Michigan. Scores dropped from 256.7 in 2002 to 243.7 in 2007, but then rebounded to 253.3 in 2011 — a 1.3 percent net decrease that was statistically insignificant.[†] Florida lower-income students made statistically significant gains, however — average scores grew from 240.7 in 1998 to 253.5 in 2011, a 5.3 percent improvement, ranking it above Michigan and the national average (see Graphic 12). The national average from 1998 to 2011 increased from 244.9 to 251.4, a 2.7 percent gain that was also statistically significant.

Graphic 12: Average NAEP Eighth-Grade Reading Scores in the United States, Michigan and Florida, Students Qualifying for the National School Lunch Program, 1998-2011

Graphic 12: Average NAEP Eighth-Grade Reading Scores in the United States, Michigan and Florida, Students Qualifying for the National School Lunch Program, 1998-2011 - click to enlarge

Source: “NAEP Data Explorer: Main NDE,” (National Center for Education Statistics; United States Department of Education), http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/ accessed March 21, 2013).


[*] Michigan did not participate in the NAEP eighth-grade reading test in 1998.

[†] See previous footnote.