The Nation's Report Card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), is a 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, history, geography, and other fields.
By making objective information on student performance available to policymakers at the national, state, and local levels, NAEP is an integral part of our nation's evaluation of the condition and progress of education. Only information related to academic achievement is collected under this program. NAEP guarantees the privacy of individual students, their families, and their schools.
NAEP is a congressionally mandated project of the National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. The Commissioner of Education Statistics is responsible, by law, for carrying out the NAEP project through competitive awards to qualified organizations.
In 1988, Congress established the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) to oversee and set policy for NAEP. The Board is responsible for selecting the subject areas to be assessed; setting appropriate student achievement levels; developing assessment objectives and test specifications; developing a process for the review of the assessment; designing the assessment methodology; developing guidelines for reporting and disseminating NAEP results; developing standards and procedures for interstate, regional, and national comparisons; determining the appropriateness of all assessment items and ensuring the assessment items are free from bias and are secular, neutral, and nonideological; taking actions to improve the form, content, use, and reporting of results of the National Assessment; and planning and executing the initial public release of NAEP reports.
Detailed information about the science assessment and the procedures used by the NAEP program for sampling, data collection, data analysis, and reporting is available.