New Jersey students continue to score among the top states in reading according to the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress results for students in grade four and eight.

The average score for fourth graders was 229, higher than the national average of 220, and just a tad below the 2007 state average score of 231.  The state ranked second in the nation and within the range of the top seven states.

Seventy-six percent of fourth graders scored at the basic level or higher. Forty percent scored at least proficient, and 10 percent scored advanced, all just a percent or so below the 2007 level, which is considered statistically insignificant.

Among eighth graders, the average New Jersey reading score was 273. The national average was 262.  No state scored higher,and nine other states scored in the similar range.

Eighty-three percent of New Jersey eighth graders scored at the basic level or above. Forty-two percent scored at least proficient, and five percent scored advanced.

The performance gap between  scores of white and minority fourth graders has narrowed  since 2003 by almost 10 points to about 25 points. There has been little change at the eighth grade achievement gap, which ranges from 25 to 30 points.

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