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The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

What is NAEP? --- pronounced "Nape"
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment better known as "Nation's Report Card” is the only national perspective on American education. NAEP is congressionally mandated project overseen by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to monitor knowledge, skill, and performance of the nation's children and youth over time. NAEP measures and reports on a regular basis what America's students know and can do in core subjects like reading, mathematics, writing, and science.

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NAEP Information NAEP Results Parents Teachers Coordinators

Why is NAEP important?
Since 1969, NAEP has measured the educational progress of students in America. It has long been considered as the ‘gold standard’ of assessment. It is a ‘common yardstick’ measuring what students know and can do in various subjects.  NAEP monitors achievement in a non-biased, independent fashion and provides a long term trend of how our students are performing. 

Must schools participate in NAEP?
Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, states and districts receiving Title I funds must participate in the NAEP Assessment in grades 4 and 8 in reading and mathematics.

How are schools selected for NAEP?
The list of schools is drawn from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) which uses a random sample of students using a long, technical process weighing many school factors, including enrollment, student diversity, and location. The goal of this process is ultimately to assemble a testing group representative of the whole state student population with a high degree of accuracy. NAEP’s sampling goal is that every eligible student in our state has the same probability of selection. By statistical design the selection criteria does result in some schools being sampled more often than others and in some cases sampled with certainty. In states with small student numbers, like Montana and numerous others, it takes a great many schools to get a sample large enough to yield valid results.

What is the difference between national NAEP and state NAEP?
National NAEP takes place during even years where only national results are reported.  The sample size for each state is much smaller than in state years and Montana typically has fewer than 20 schools selected. The national year sampling design does not use the same technical process used by NCES to draw the state NAEP year sample. State NAEP takes place during odd years where state and national results are reported at grades 4, 8 and 12 (national).  A State NAEP year requires a much larger sample where (1) every eligible student in our state has the same probability of selection; (2) about 100 schools for each grade and subject are sampled; and (3) about 2,500–3,000 assessed students for each grade and subject. When the national NAEP samples are drawn to provide national representation rather than individual state representation, the selection process is somewhat different. Rather than selecting schools directly from lists of schools, the first stage of sampling involves selecting a basic geographic sampling unit (i.e., counties within states). The next aspect in national year selection is to obtain schools within the selected sampling unit. The last aspect of selection is to obtain a random selection of students within the selected schools. For more information about this process, please visit: a detailed list, of FAQs, click here.

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