Visit for the latest Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) updates.

You are here

AH-5.3.3 Data Details

Expand All

AH-5.3.3 Increase the proportion of 12th grade students whose reading skills are at or above the proficient achievement level for their grade

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

Data Source: 
National Assessment of Educational Progress
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
Baseline (Year): 
35.4 (2005)
Target-Setting Method: 
10 percent improvement

Number of twelfth graders scoring at the proficiency level or higher for grade level in the reading skills test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress


Number of twelfth graders attending public or private schools

Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective: 
Not applicable
Data Collection Frequency: 
Methodology Notes: 

    The proficient achievement level is one of three National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) achievement levels: basic, proficient, and advanced. Minimum cut-off scores are established for each achievement level by a standard setting process. The proficient achievement level represents solid academic performance for the grade level assessed.

    The NAEP reading assessment measures the reading and comprehension skills of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 by asking them to read selected grade-appropriate passages and answer questions based on what they have read.
    The 2005 NAEP reading framework specifies that 35 percent of the assessment be devoted to reading for literary experience, 45 percent to reading for information, and 20 percent to reading to perform a task. The 2009 NAEP Reading Framework is based on the following definition of reading: Reading is an active and complex process that involves: understanding written text, developing and interpreting meaning, using meaning as appropriate to type of text, purpose, and situation. In addition, for grade 12, the NAEP reading assessment measures preparedness for postsecondary endeavors.

    The 2009 NAEP reading framework replaces the framework used for the 1992-2005 twelfth-grade reading assessments. Compared to the previous framework, the 2009 reading framework for grade 12 includes more emphasis on cognitive processes, a wider variety of literary and informational texts, and a new systematic assessment of vocabulary knowledge. The 2009 reading framework for grade 12 specified that a higher proportion of the text types should be informational (70 percent). This change from the earlier framework was made to enable NAEP to better assess the preparedness of twelfth-graders for postsecondary education and training. Results from the 2009 reading trend study determined that the 2009 reading assessment results could be compared to results from earlier assessment years.

Caveats and Limitations: 
Students are eligible for the National School Lunch Program (either free or reduced priced lunch) if their family income is at or below 185% if the poverty level. Data for English Language Learner cannot be generalized to the total population of English language learners--some students are unable to take the test. Students are classified by the school as having a disability. Students may have an individualized education plan (IEP) or a 504 plan. Data for students with disabilities cannot be generalized to the total population of disabled students--some students are unable to take the test.


Additional resources about the objective

  1. The Nations Report Card…the official site for results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress