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Home » Student Success » Testing » National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)


January 4, 2021
NAEP 2021 was postponed. Grades 4 and 8 state-level NAEP will instead be conducted during the 2021-2022 school year. 

Contact Information

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Tony Wilson

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the nation's only ongoing representative survey of student achievement in core subject areas. NAEP measures what students across the country know and can do in various subject areas, including mathematics, reading, writing, and science. NAEP provides useful information about student academic achievement at the state and national level. State-level results published as the Nation's Report Card and on OSPI's NAEP State Results page allow us to learn more about student achievement in Washington, while also making it possible to compare our state to other states, regions, and the nation.

Who takes NAEP?

The Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires the NAEP assessment be given in reading and mathematics at grades 4 and 8 every two years. States and school districts that receive Title I federal funding must participate in these assessments and pilot assessments in other years.

Rather than testing all students, NAEP statisticians select a sample of students to represent the entire student population in grades four, eight, and twelve at the state or national level. The following video gives an overview of NAEP, how schools and students are selected, and what schools can expect during a NAEP assessment.

Parents Frequently Asked Questions - English | Spanish

The Parents Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) addresses the topics parents and guardians ask about most often. Includes an overview of NAEP, student selection and inclusion, and a description of how NAEP Is administered to a student. The FAQ also gives a few recent examples of how states applied NAEP findings.

What Every Parent Should Know About NAEP - English | Spanish

What Every Parent Should Know About NAEP gives a high-level overview of NAEP.

How is NAEP Reported and Used?

Test results are reported in the Nation's Report Card. Results of each administration are compared to results of previous NAEP assessments to show changes in student achievement over time. Student performance is described in terms of average scale scores and the percentages of students attaining three achievement levels: Basic, Proficient and Advanced.

NAEP is used by:

  • State educators, legislators, and governors as a yardstick to gauge the effectiveness of state educational policies;
  • Members of Congress and the President as an indicator of student progress over time; and
  • Parents and the public as a means to assess the academic performance of students in Washington compared to other states and the nation as a whole.

Results are never reported for individual students or schools. Individual test scores and questionnaire responses are always kept confidential.

NAEP 2019 for grades 4 and 8 mathematics and reading were reported at the state level on October 30, 2019. Other NAEP operational assessments will be reported at the national level in the Nation's Report Card. State-level NAEP for mathematics and reading will next be administered in the 2021-2022 school year.

NAEP Pilot assessments inform future NAEP assessments.