The Focus on NAEP series highlights findings and describes key elements of the development and implementation of NAEP. First administered in 1969, NAEP is the largest nationally representative assessment of what students across the United States know and can do. It assesses fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-grade students in various subjects.

Explore other Focus on NAEP articles

Exploring Process Data in TEL
Learn more about how data from student actions on digital assessments can be used to investigate digital familiarity and efficiency.
Reporting Results
Explore three ways NAEP data are reported and see examples of how they are used.
Students With Disabilities
Learn more about the characteristics and performance of students with disabilities on the NAEP mathematics and reading assessments, as well as the available testing accommodations.
English Learners and NAEP Assessments
Take a look at how NAEP assesses English learners (EL) and what accommodations are available.
Grade 12 Participation and Engagement in NAEP
Learn more about NAEP's ongoing research efforts on the participation of twelfth-graders and their engagement with NAEP assessments.
Simpson's Paradox in NAEP
Explore Simpson's Paradox in NAEP data; it occurs when subgroup data show a different pattern than when the data are combined.
Sampling for NAEP Assessments
Learn more about how NAEP selects schools and students for NAEP assessments.
Early Reading Skill Development
Coming soon!

The Story of NAEP

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a continuing and nationally representative measure of trends in academic achievement of U.S. elementary and secondary students in various subjects. It is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation's students know and can do in select subjects. It was first administered in 1969 to measure student achievement nationally. Teachers, principals, parents, policymakers, and researchers all use NAEP results to assess progress and develop ways to improve education in the United States. Read more

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. Learn more about NCES