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NAEP For Parents

Why Is NAEP Important?

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often called The Nation’s Report Card, provides valuable data parents can use to learn the facts on student achievement and ask the questions that can make a difference.

Students Believe NAEP is Important Video

Students Believe NAEP is Important
Hear what they have to say.

Learn What NAEP Is

  • What is NAEP and why is it the gold standard?
    NAEP is the only continuing, nationally representative measure of achievement in core subjects at grades 4, 8, and 12. NAEP provides achievement results and reveals trends over time; compares performance among states, urban districts, public and private schools, and student demographic groups; and informs the public about elementary and secondary school student academic performance. Additional information about NAEP is available at
  • How is NAEP different from local and state tests?
    Unlike state or local tests, or national tests such as the ACT and SAT, NAEP results are based on representative samples of students and do not provide scores for individual students or schools.
  • Can NAEP show me how to improve student achievement?
    NAEP data reveal trends in student achievement and spotlight factors that may be related to changes in achievement. The power of NAEP is that it can provide parents with the data and tools needed to form questions about in-school and out-of-school factors to pose to teachers, principals, superintendents, policymakers, and other education leaders.
  • Does NAEP identify the results for different types of students?
    NAEP provides achievement data in these categories: race/ethnicity, gender, type of school, students with disabilities, English language learners, and income (as measured by eligibility for free and reduced-price meals). These categories allow for important reporting on achievement trends and gaps in our nation.
  • How does NAEP define what students should know?
    The National Assessment Governing Board oversees NAEP. The Governing Board defines what students should be able to know and do in grades 4, 8, and 12 in various subjects, and decides which subjects students are tested on and when. Student performance is defined by three achievement levels: Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. The Proficient achievement level represents mastery of challenging material.

See NAEP Results in Your Area

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