|The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as “the Nation’s Report Card,” is the only 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, U.S. history, civics, geography, and the arts.Under the current structure, the Commissioner of Education Statistics, who heads the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education, is responsible by law for carrying out the NAEP project. The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), appointed by the Secretary of Education but independent of the Department, sets policy for NAEP and is responsible for developing the framework and test specifications that serve as the blueprint for the assessments. NAGB is a bipartisan group whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988.
NAEP provides results regarding subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students (e.g., fourth-graders) and groups within those populations (e.g., female students, Hispanic students). NAEP results are based on a sample of student populations of interest.
By participating in NAEP, students are doing their part to help improve education in our country, our state, and our schools!
Why Is NAEP Important?
- A national assessment that allows educational achievement to be compared across states;
- An assessment that identifies the percentages of students in the nation who meet standards for Advance, Proficient, or Basic performance in a variety of subjects;
- A yardstick that state educators, legislators, and governors can use to gauge the effectiveness of state educational policies;
- A measurement tool that members of Congress and the President can use to review student progress during the past 35 years; and
- A source of information that allows parents to assess the academic performance of students in their state and the nation as a whole.
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