Skip to main content
Skip Navigation

NAEP is the Leader in Large-Scale Assessment

NAEP is the gold standard of student assessments.

The Washington Post

SOURCE: The Washington Post editorial board

As the gold standard in large-scale assessments, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is developed by a renowned group of assessment and content specialists, education experts, and teachers. NCES shares best practices and lessons learned from NAEP assessments are shared with assessment programs across the nation.

NAEP is at the forefront in 

  • providing valid and reliable national assessment data on student progress; 
  • developing innovative large-scale assessments that reflect advances in educational technologies;
  • creating assessment advances in methodology, statistical modeling; and 
  • reporting findings that meet the needs and interests of the educational community.
  • Valid and Reliable Assessment Data on Student Progress

    NAEP is a nationally representative assessment that measures U.S. students’ knowledge and performance in multiple subjects. The first national assessments administered by NAEP were in 1969. Here is a timeline of the addition of NAEP assessments through the years:

  • 1969-70 – citizenship, science, and writing 
  • 1970-71 – literature and reading 
  • 1971-72 – music and social studies 
  • 1974-75 – art 
  • 1986 – U.S. history 
  • 1988 – civics and geography 
  • 2006 – economics 
  • 2014 – technology and engineering literacy 
  • NAEP assessments are administered at the national level for all subjects, and at the state level for mathematics, reading, science, and writing. In addition, select urban districts participate in reading, mathematics, science, and writing assessments.

    Innovation and Technology

    observatory of the skies

    Today most students are digital natives. Schools are usually equipped with various digital resources that are an integral part of the learning environment. To address the increased role of technology in classrooms, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has transitioned the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) from paper-and-pencil to digitally based assessments. NCES is utilizing established best practices to remain at the forefront of innovation for large-scale assessments. NCES is also exploring new testing methods and question types to reflect the growing use of technology in education.

    Learn More

    Advancements in Assessment Design

    observatory of the skies

    Through the years, NAEP has been a leader in assessment research and innovation. NAEP has been in the forefront of the development and application of new item formats, statistical methods, models, and reporting results.

    NCES is committed to using the latest research and cutting-edge technologies in developing assessments as a result of collaborating with a wide range of experts on the NAEP Validity Studies Panel, the Design Analysis Committee, and other special NAEP events and meetings

    Current and future research and development initiatives at NAEP include 

  • evidence-centered design, 
  • new items types (such as scenario based tasks), 
  • a Survey Assessment Innovation Lab, and 
  • enhanced survey questionnaires and index scores.
  • Learn More

    Last updated 13 July 2018 (FC)