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National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)


The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation's Report Card, is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Since 1969, assessments have been conducted periodically in reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography, and the arts. The NAEP includes the following program components: (1) National NAEP: reports information for the nation and specific geographic regions of the country; includes students drawn from both public and nonpublic schools; and reports results for student achievement in grades 4, 8, and 12; (2) State NAEP assessments provide reliable state-level student achievement data in reading, mathematics, science, and writing; (3) NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment provides reading and mathematics assessment in 10 Tribal districts; and (4) NAEP long-term trend assessments, designed to give information on the changes in the basic achievement of America's youths, are administered nationally and report student performance at ages 9, 13, and 17 in reading and mathematics.


Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (ED/NCES)

Data Years Available

National: 1969-present; State level: 1990-present


While testing is done every year, the subject matter and grades change on a rotating schedule.



Selected Content


Population covered



NAEP assessments are administered uniformly, using the same sets of text booklets across the nation. The assessment stays essentially the same from year to year, with only carefully documented changes. NEAP assesses a representative sample of students each year. National assessments include many subjects, including mathematics, reading, science, writing the art, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history. These assessments follow the frameworks developed by the National Assessment Governing Board and use the latest advances in assessment technology. Each subject is assessed at grades 4, 8, and 12 -- although not all grades are assessed each time. Four subjects (mathematics, reading, science, and writing) are also reported at the state level, usually for grades 4 and 8. For national assessments, students in public and private schools are assessed; at the state level, only public school students are assessed. The Long-term trend assessments are given at the national level only and are given every 4 years. The long-term trend assessments and national assessments are not directly comparable due to differences in the sample frame and test questions.

Response rate and sample size


Interpretation Issues


References Accessed August 28, 2010. Accessed August 28, 2010.