What is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)?
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a large-scale, national assessment of students' knowledge and skills in reading, mathematics, science, writing, history, geography, and more.
The NAEP program provides data to help educators, parents and policymakers understand what students know and can do in subjects that are the foundation for the nation's economy.
The NAEP program consists of periodic assessments done under contract by states, districts and schools at selected grade levels. The results provide valuable information about how American students perform in comparison with other students across the country and over time.
When and How Is the NAEP Given?
The NAEP test is given to students in participating states every few years. The NAEP helps track how well students are doing at each grade level, as well as providing data on how well schools are performing.
The NAEP is administered to students in grades 4 and 8 in reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, geography, and civics/economics. Students in grades 4 and 8 also take an assessment of their technology and engineering literacy (TE). For grades 4 and 8, the assessments are administered on paper-and-pencil or with computer-based tests depending on which technology is available in your district.
For grade 12 (or high school), the NAEP includes an optional assessment of career readiness that measures students’ abilities to apply what they have learned in high school to real life situations. This assessment is only available to schools where a majority of students meet income eligibility criteria for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
Why Is the NAEP Important for Educators?
The NAEP is important to educators because it helps us understand how students are doing across the country. It gives us information about student achievement in reading and math, as well as science and technology literacy. The NAEP also provides information about student participation in advanced coursework.
The results of the NAEP help educators make decisions about teaching and learning in their classrooms. For example, if a school district has low scores on the mathematics assessment, then educators might consider adopting new instructional materials or changing their teaching practices to meet the needs of the students who are struggling in that area. The results also provide information about how well teachers are prepared to teach their subjects at different grade levels, which can inform training efforts within schools and districts.