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About the U.S. History Assessment

Nationally representative samples of more than 7,000 fourth-graders, 11,000 eighth-graders, and 12,000 twelfth-graders participated in the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in U.S. history. At each grade, students responded to questions designed to measure their knowledge of United States history in the context of democracy, culture, technological and economic changes, and America’s changing world role. Comparing the results from the 2010 assessment to results from three previous assessment years (1994, 2001, and 2006) shows how students' knowledge and skills in U.S. history have progressed over time.

The results from the 2010 U.S. history assessment are based on nationally representative samples of public and private school students at grades 4, 8, and 12. Private schools include Catholic and other private schools. In 2010, results are disaggregated for students attending private schools at grade 8 only because participation of students attending private schools at grades 4 and 12 was not sufficient to permit reporting. Unlike NAEP assessments in other subjects such as reading, mathematics, and science, the U.S.history assessment was not designed to report results for individual states.

The U.S. history assessment was developed and reviewed by a committee of history and measurement experts to capture the goals of the U.S. History Framework. The National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the development of NAEP frameworks, incorporated the expertise of many individuals involved in U.S. history and education when developing the framework.

The series of tables on the student population and sample, school and student participation rates, and inclusion of students with disabilities and English language learners provide context for interpreting the results of the assessment. Read the NAEP inclusion policy to learn more about NAEP accommodations and the history of the policy.

Learn more about procedures used as part of the 2010 U.S. history assessment: