Office of State Assessment

2019 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 2019

Who will take NAEP?

In New York State, 558 schools were selected by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) to participate in the 2019 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Of these schools, 254 are in New York City. The New York State Education Department notified selected schools around the state in early September 2018, 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. A sample of students from each selected school was then chosen by the USDOE in early December to participate in the designated NAEP assessment. Each student will be assessed in only one subject.

What subjects will NAEP assess?

In 2019, NAEP will administer two main assessment programs:

  • State-level assessments
    • Grades 4 and 8: Mathematics and Reading assessments
  • National and Pilot assessments
    • Grades 4 and 8: Science assessments; Mathematics and Reading pilots
    • Grade 12: Mathematics, Reading, and Science assessments

For the state-level assessments, students in Grades 4 and 8 will take the assessment on tablets with keyboards provided by NAEP representatives. State-level results will be released in the fall of 2019 as part of The Nation’s Report Card. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), state applications for Title 1 funds must include an assurance that states will participate in these biennial NAEP mathematics and reading assessments at Grades 4 and 8 and that state results will be reported.

For the national-level assessments, NAEP will administer science assessments to students in Grades 4, 8, and 12. In addition to science, Grade 12 students will take mathematics and reading assessments. Most students will take the assessment on tablets provided by NAEP representatives, while a small subset of students will take paper-and-pencil versions of the assessment. NAEP is administering these assessments via both tablets and paper booklets to evaluate any differences in student performance between the two types of administration. National results will also be released as part of The Nation’s Report Card.

For the pilot assessments, NAEP will administer mathematics and reading assessments to students in Grades 4 and 8. Students will take the pilot assessments on tablets with keyboards provided by NAEP representatives. Results from the pilots will not be released but will be used to ensure that future NAEP assessments continue to be a reliable measure of student achievement.

When will NAEP be administered?

NAEP will be administered in selected schools, countrywide, between January 28 and March 15, 2019.

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 27, 2019