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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 educational 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



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.

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

In 2009, the NAEP assessment revealed that Detroit schoolchildren ranked the lowest in the nation in both grades 4 and 8. In response to the alarming results, The Detroit Free Press partnered with the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) to create and implement a new reading initiative, The Call to Action for a new Reading Corps, which encouraged citizens to volunteer 100,000 hours collectively to tutor reading in DPS schools.

North Carolina

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

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 language learners, 
  • type of school, and 
  • highest level of parental education.

NAEP Provides Tools and Resources for Educators

observatory of the skies

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 July 2018 (FC)