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About the Assessment: Target Population and Sample Size

The schools and students participating in NAEP assessments are selected to be representative of all schools nationally and of public schools at the state level. Samples of schools and students are drawn from each state and from the District of Columbia and Department of Defense schools. The results from the assessed students are combined to provide accurate estimates of the overall performance of students in the nation and in individual states and other jurisdictions.

While national results reflect the performance of students in both public schools and nonpublic schools (i.e., private schools, Bureau of Indian Education schools, and Department of Defense schools), state-level results reflect the performance of public school students only. Results are also reported separately for Department of Defense schools in state tables and maps. More information on sampling can be found in NAEP Technical Documentation.

The sample of students in the participating Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) school districts is an extension of the sample of students who would usually be selected by NAEP as part of state and national samples. Results for students in the TUDA samples are also included in state and national samples with appropriate weighting.

Some charter schools that operate within the geographic boundaries of a school district are independent of the district and are not included in the districts' Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report to the U.S. Department of Education under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Beginning in 2009, charter schools of this type are no longer included in the results for TUDA districts as they had been in past NAEP assessments.

School districts vary in whether the charter schools within their boundaries are independent of the districts. Prior to 2009, charter schools were included in the TUDA district results if they were listed as part of the district’s Local Education Agency in the NCES Common Core of Data. Beginning in 2009, charter schools were included in TUDA district results if they contributed to the district’s AYP results as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

National and State
Student sample sizes and target populations in NAEP reading at grade 4, by state/jurisdiction: 2011
State/jurisdiction Sample size Target population
     Nation 222,200 3,940,000
       Public 211,700 3,614,000
       Private 6,200 317,000
Alabama 3,100 54,000
Alaska 2,900 9,000
Arizona 3,900 80,000
Arkansas 3,700 37,000
California 9,600 438,000
Colorado 3,600 61,000
Connecticut 3,200 41,000
Delaware 3,700 10,000
Florida 7,500 195,000
Georgia 5,600 129,000
Hawaii 3,500 13,000
Idaho 3,800 21,000
Illinois 5,300 157,000
Indiana 3,600 80,000
Iowa 3,500 36,000
Kansas 3,300 35,000
Kentucky 5,200 51,000
Louisiana 3,400 56,000
Maine 3,300 14,000
Maryland 4,900 60,000
Massachusetts 5,400 76,000
Michigan 4,300 113,000
Minnesota 3,800 62,000
Mississippi 3,100 35,000
Missouri 3,700 68,000
Montana 3,300 11,000
Nebraska 3,300 22,000
Nevada 4,100 34,000
New Hampshire 3,400 14,000
New Jersey 3,500 99,000
New Mexico 4,400 25,000
New York 4,900 197,000
North Carolina 5,500 112,000
North Dakota 3,200 7,000
Ohio 4,500 125,000
Oklahoma 3,300 45,000
Oregon 3,900 45,000
Pennsylvania 4,900 130,000
Rhode Island 3,400 11,000
South Carolina 3,500 52,000
South Dakota 3,400 9,000
Tennessee 3,700 75,000
Texas 10,400 359,000
Utah 4,200 43,000
Vermont 2,800 6,000
Virginia 3,900 96,000
Washington 4,100 77,000
West Virginia 3,200 20,000
Wisconsin 4,700 62,000
Wyoming 3,000 7,000
Other jurisdictions  
    BIE1 1,100 3,000
    District of Columbia 2,200 5,000
    DoDEA2 3,300 7,000
1 Bureau of Indian Education.
2 Department of Defense Education Activity (overseas and domestic schools).
NOTE: The sample size is rounded to the nearest hundred. The target population is rounded to the nearest thousand. Data for BIE and DoDEA schools are counted in the overall nation total, but not in the nation (public) total. Data for the District of Columbia public schools are counted, along with the states, in nation (public). Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 Reading Assessment.