What is the The Nation’s Report Card?

By Erick Sandoval

The Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students in public and private schools in the US know and are able to do in many subjects. For 50 years, NAEP has been a measure of student achievement across the country in math, reading, science and many other subjects. The report cards provide national, state, and district results. The NAEP is given to grades 4, 8 and 12 to provide a comprehensive look at the different areas/subjects and how students perform in them.

NAEP results are reported for the nation but most importantly for states, as well as for urban districts that participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). Results are reported as scores and as percentages of students reaching NAEP achievement levels—Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. NAEP monitors overall educational progress for the nation, states, TUDA districts, and for different groups of students, including students with disabilities and English language learners. NAEP is not designed to provide results for individual students or schools.

NAEP assesses a sample of students across the country to be representative of all students in the United States. Students who are selected represent the nation’s geographic, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity. Each student’s participation is needed for providing an accurate and complete picture of student achievement and ensuring that policymakers, researchers, and educators have reliable data to inform educational improvements.

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