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NAEP Data Informs Policy and Practice

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provides a common measure of student achievement across the country. Policymakers, educators, the assessment community, and the media use NAEP to improve education. NAEP data informs education policy and practice by

  • reporting the achievement of various student groups,
  • analyzing NAEP results in the context of educational experiences, and
  • providing tools and resources for data analysis.

NAEP Sparks Change Across the Country

  • NAEP Inspires Change, Oregon To address the state's growing economy and workforce needs, Oregon referenced grade 4 NAEP mathematics data to shape a STEM Education Plan in 2016. This plan was established to develop important science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills for students of all races, economic status, and regions.
  • NAEP Inspires Change, Iowa: NAEP survey questionnaire data showed that eighth- and twelfth-grade students in Iowa were less likely than their peers across the country to take advanced mathematics courses. This information led the Statewide Mathematics Leadership Team-a team of district and regional educators focused on supporting mathematics instruction, assessment, and professional development-to take action to encourage higher levels of mathematics enrollment across Iowa.
  • NAEP Inspires Change, North Carolina: In 2005, results from the NAEP reading assessment revealed that eighth grade students in North Carolina scored below the national average. In response, the state deployed more than 200 literacy coaches to middle schools around the state to help teachers reach students with reading difficulties before they made the transition to high school.

NAEP Offers Insight into Achievement for Various Student Groups

Picture of diverse group of students.

NAEP results reflect the overall performance of different student groups. Results are released for student groups based on the following:

  • race or ethnicity,
  • eligibility for free or reduced-price school lunch,
  • identification as students with disabilities,
  • identification as English learners,
  • type of school, and
  • highest level of parental education.

NAEP Provides Tools and Resources for Educators

Photo of students and teachers collaborating.

NAEP provides educators with tools and resources to

  • create tests using NAEP sample questions,
  • access data about educational experience and NAEP performance across regions, states, districts, and
  • understand what skills and abilities students demonstrate at the Basic, Proficient, and Advanced achievement levels.

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Last updated 18 February 2021 (ML)