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National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was developed in 1969 to measure student achievement nationally, and is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Since 1983, ETS, on behalf of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), has developed content, analyzed data and reported results for NAEP, often referred to as "The Nation's Report Card." Assessments are conducted periodically in the arts, civics, economics, mathematics, reading, science, technology and engineering literacy (TEL), U.S. history and writing.

ETS and NAEP

ETS has assisted the NAEP program in introducing numerous psychometric and assessment design innovations over the years. During the past decade, NAEP has developed and administered the first national assessment in technology and engineering literacy (TEL), incorporated interactive inquiry tasks into its science assessment and delivered digital versions of most NAEP assessments. NAEP digitally based assessments (DBAs) utilize dynamic and innovative technologies to create an engaging, interactive assessment experience for students and provide more meaningful data about students' skills and knowledge. This transition to DBAs reflects a commitment by ETS to incorporate cutting-edge technologies into NAEP assessments.

To learn more about the digitally based assessments:

NAEP Data Explorer (NDE)

Developed by ETS researchers, the NDE is a powerful statistical tool that encompasses many analytical functions such as sophisticated searching, data comparison and chart and table creation. The enhanced NDE makes it even easier to explore NAEP results. This interactive, user-friendly web tool lets users do the following:

  • Build custom statistical tables, animated graphics and state maps using NAEP data.
  • Explore decades of assessment results for various subjects, grades and jurisdictions.
  • View information about factors that may be related to student learning.

See below for the latest NAEP reports or view previous reports.

The Nation's Report Card: Latest Reports

  • 2019 Mathematics and Reading Report Card – Grades 4 and 8

    These interactive reports discuss the results of the 2019 NAEP digitally based assessments in mathematics and reading for students in grades 4 and 8 for the nation, states and 27 participating Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) districts. The national average score in mathematics was higher for fourth-graders compared to 2017, but lower for eighth-graders. Average reading scores were lower in 2019 for both fourth- and eighth-graders compared to 2017.

    Explore the full reports for detailed results — including information on states and the 27 TUDA districts — or access the Highlights for an overview of results:

  • 2018 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) Report Card – Grade 8

    Results from the 2018 NAEP TEL assessment are discussed in this report. The latest data revealed that the average overall TEL score was higher for eighth-graders in 2018 than in 2014, the previous assessment year. Also, in 2018 a higher percentage of eighth-graders performed at or above NAEP Proficient in TEL compared to 2014. Explore the results in detail, view sample scenario-based tasks, and learn more about this innovative assessment. Highlights from this report are also available online.

  • 2016 Arts Report Card – Grade 8
    This report presents the results from the 2016 NAEP arts assessment at grade 8, which was administered to a representative sample of 8,800 eighth-graders from 280 schools across the United States. About 4,300 students were assessed in music and 4,400 were assessed in visual arts. The data revealed that average scores for eighth-graders were not significantly different between 2008 and 2016, and the percentages of students who reported taking music and/or visual arts classes remained relatively unchanged.
  • 2015 Science Report Card Grades 4, 8 and 12
    2015 Science Report Card – Grades 4, 8 and 12
    The NAEP science assessment measures students' knowledge of three major content areas — physical science, life science, and Earth and space sciences. In 2015, scores were higher at grades 4 and 8 in all three of these science content areas compared to 2009, while there were no significant changes at grade 12.
  • Corresponding image for The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics and Reading 2015 – Grade 12.
    2015 Mathematics and Reading Report Card – Grade 12
    Results of the 2015 NAEP mathematics and reading assessments for grade 12 are presented in this interactive report. The national average score in mathematics was lower than in 2013 for twelfth-grade students, and the reading score was unchanged.
  • Graphic from The Nation's Report Card: 2014 U.S. History, Geography, and Civics at Grade 8.
    2014 U.S. History, Geography and Civics Report Cards – Grade 8
    This report presents results from the 2014 NAEP U.S. history, geography and civics assessments administered to eighth-grade students. While average scores showed no significant change, several student groups made gains.
  • Cover from The Nation's Report Card: Trends in Academic Progress 2012.
    2012 Trends in Academic Progress
    This report shows that both 9- and 13-year-olds scored higher in reading and mathematics in 2012 than students their age in the early 1970s. Seventeen-year-olds, however, did not show similar gains.
  • Cover from The Nation's Report Card: Economics 2012.
    2012 Economics Report Card – Grade 12
    This report discusses that, although there was no significant change in the overall average economics score of twelfth-grade students, the percentage of twelfth-graders performing at or above NAEP Basic increased between 2006 and 2012.
  • Cover from The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2011.
    2011 Writing Report Card – Grades 8 and 12
    In this report, results from the 2011 digitally-based writing assessment provide information on eighth- and twelfth-graders' ability to write on the computer for specific purposes and audiences, and on the extent to which they engaged in certain word-processing actions when composing their writing.

Special Studies

  • Student Questionnaires Results: Classroom Instruction for Mathematics, Reading and Science
    This report examines how student views, computer access and usage, and classroom instruction in mathematics, reading and science changed over time and vary across the nation. The report addresses questions such as: "What content, activities or skills do fourth- and eighth-graders' mathematics, reading and science teachers emphasize for grades 4 and 8?" and "How does grade 12 students' classroom activity participation or coursetaking relate to their performance of twelfth-grade students on the 2015 NAEP mathematics, reading and science assessments?"
  • Survey Questionnaire Results: Students' Computer Access and Use
    This report examines fourth-, eighth- and twelfth-grade students’ access to computers and their use of computers for classroom learning, using survey data from the NAEP 2015 mathematics and reading assessments.
  • Cover from The Nation's Report Card: 2015 NIES Report.
    The National Indian Education Study 2015: A Closer Look
    This follow-up report to the 2015 NIES study features factors associated with the academic performance of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students and how they see themselves in relation to their Native languages, culture and aspirations. This report examines various factors associated with AI/AN students who performed at or above the 75th percentile and below the 25th percentile. In addition, the report explores the results derived from the combination of multiple related survey questions (i.e., composite variables) centered around Native language exposure, knowledge and the interest in Native cultures, and academic engagement and expectations.

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