Office of State Assessment

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has frequently been called The Nation's Report Card. It is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subjects. NAEP began in 1964 with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to set up the Exploratory Committee for the Assessment of Progress in Education. The first national assessments were conducted in 1969. Voluntary assessments for states began in 1990 on a trial basis, and, in 2002 and 2003, selected urban districts participated in the assessment on a trial basis. In 2003, the first NCLB-mandated NAEP assessments in reading and mathematics were administered. Since its inception in 1969, assessments have been conducted in numerous academic subjects, including the arts, civics, economics, geography, mathematics, reading, science, United States history, and writing.

Since 1988, the National Assessment Governing Board has been responsible for selecting the subject areas to be assessed. Furthermore, the Governing Board oversees creation of the frameworks that underlie the assessments and the specifications that guide the development of the assessment instruments. The framework for each subject area is determined through a collaborative development process that involves teachers, curriculum specialists, subject-matter specialists, school administrators, parents, and members of the public.

Because NAEP is a large-group assessment, each student takes only a small part of the overall assessment. In most schools, only a small portion of the total grade enrollment is selected to take the assessment, and these students may not reliably or validly represent the total school population. Only when the student scores are aggregated at the state or national level are the data considered reliable and valid estimates of what students know and can do in the content area. Consequently, school-, district-, or student-level results are never reported. NAEP reports results either nationally or by state.

State NAEP

Since 1990, NAEP assessments have been conducted on the state level. Beginning with the 2003 NAEP cycle, assessments are conducted every two years in mathematics and reading in Grades 4 and 8. A sample of schools and students in each state are carefully selected to participate in NAEP according to demographic characteristics that make the samples collectively representative of each state. Using this representative sample of schools and students, participating states receive assessment results that report on the performance of their Grades 4 and 8 students in these subjects. Since NAEP assessments are administered uniformly to all participating students, using the same test booklets and identical administration procedures across the nation, NAEP results serve as a common metric for states/jurisdictions and the large, urban districts that participate in the assessment. Results from the state assessments are typically released six months after administration, in the fall of the same year that they are administered.

In state years, Grade 12 assessments are also conducted, along with some pilot assessments and special studies. Results from the Grade 12 assessments and the pilot assessments are released as national results about one year after administration, usually in the spring of the year following administration.

National NAEP

In the years when state results are not reported, NAEP reports information for the nation for subjects such as civics, arts, and technology and engineering literacy. National NAEP years include students drawn from both public and nonpublic schools and report results for student achievement at Grades 4, 8, and 12. Pilot tests, to inform future NAEP assessments, and special studies are also conducted in national years. As in state years, no individual student, school, or district scores are reported.

Trial Urban District Assessments

In addition to reporting on student achievement on national and state levels, NAEP also reports on test results in selected urban districts. The decision to report student achievement at the district level came in 2001, after discussion between the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS), and the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). According to the National Assessment Governing Board, TUDA’s primary goal is to promote education reform in the schools of the nation’s largest urban school districts and to focus attention on the challenges faced by urban districts.

The TUDA program began in 2002 on a trial basis, similar to the trial for state assessments in 1990. Six urban districts participated in that year in NAEP reading and writing assessments. In 2003, TUDA continued with reading and mathematics assessments and, in 2005, with reading, mathematics, and science assessments. The assessments administered in TUDA are the same as those administered in states and jurisdictions, using identical administration procedures. Like the state and national assessments, TUDA does not provide individual scores for the students or schools assessed.

Districts invited to participate in NAEP assessments must meet certain criteria. They must have populations over 250,000, and, in addition, one half of the population must be minority students or eligible for free or reduced-price lunch programs.

From its inception in 2002, the TUDA program has grown significantly. In 2009, eighteen districts participated in mathematics, reading, and science assessments. By 2015, the number had grown to twenty-two, and in 2017 twenty-seven TUDAs participated in the NAEP assessment. New York City was one of the original six districts chosen for the first trial assessment in 2002 and has participated in all subsequent TUDAs.

New York NAEP News - NAEP 2018

Who will take NAEP?

In New York State, 250 schools were selected by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) to participate in the 2018 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Of these schools, 70 are in New York City. The New York State Education Department notified selected schools around the state during early September 2017, informing them what grades and subjects would be assessed. New York City public schools were notified of their selection for NAEP by the New York City Department of Education in June 2017. A sample of students from each selected school was then chosen by the USDOE in early December to participate in the designated NAEP assessment.

What subjects will NAEP assess?

In 2018, NAEP operational assessments will be administered at Grade 8 in Civics, Geography, and United States History and Technology and Engineering Literacy. Pilot assessments in reading and science will be administered in Grades 4, 8, and 12, with an additional pilot assessment in mathematics in Grade 12. As NAEP moves to a technology-based platform, all pilot assessments, and most operational Social Studies assessments, will be conducted on computer tablets provided by NAEP representatives. The Technology and Engineering Literacy assessment will be conducted on laptops provided by NAEP representatives, while a small number of students will take the Social Studies assessment on paper. In addition, some New York State schools were chosen for a Grade 4 Oral Reading Fluency Study.

When will NAEP be administered?

NAEP will be administered in selected schools, countrywide, between January 29 and March 9, 2018.

Where can you find additional information?

Information on NAEP is available at: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard. Additional questions may be addressed to Carolyn Trombe, New York State NAEP Coordinator, at: carolyn.trombe@nysed.gov.

Last Updated: February 12, 2018