NAEP logo Why Is NAEP Important? Established by Congress in 1969, NAEP was created to provide a common national yardstick for accurately evaluating the performance of American students.

NAEP is:

  • 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.

By participating in NAEP, students are doing their part to help improve education in our country, our state, and our schools!

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.