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Long-Term Trend Assessment (1970-2023 Trends)

Since the 1970s, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has monitored student performance in mathematics and reading through long-term trend (LTT) assessments across three age levels (9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students). These assessments measure students' educational progress over long time periods to look for and monitor trends in performance. Although the LTT assessments are typically administered every four years, NCES decided to administer the LTT assessments for students ages 9 and 13 to provide data on post-pandemic student performance. The reading and mathematics assessments at age 9 were administered from January to March of the 2021–22 school year and the assessments at age 13 were administered from October to December of the 2022–23 school year. Approximately 7,400 age 9 students from 410 schools and approximately 8,700 age 13 students from 460 schools were assessed in each subject.

Long-term Trend Assessment 1970-2023

Scores decline again for 13-year-old students in reading and mathematics.

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Assessment Content

Unlike the main NAEP assessments, which develop assessment instruments that reflect current educational content and assessment methodology, measuring trends in student achievement over time requires that LTT assessments remain consistent.

However, in 2004, changes were made to the LTT assessment design, and a study was conducted to ensure that results under the new design were comparable to the 1971–1999 results.

The LTT assessment measures students’ knowledge in mathematics and reading. Survey questionnaires, administered to students and school administrators, who participate in an LTT assessment, are used to collect and report contextual information about the students’ learning experience in and out of the classroom.

Icons representing each NAEP assessment subject in arts, civics, economics, geography, reading, mathematics, technology and engineering literacy, science, U.S. history, and writing.

Main NAEP Assessments and LTT Assessments

Explore the differences between NAEP and NAEP LTT.

Learn More

How Results Are Reported

Student performance on the NAEP LTT assessment is presented in two ways: scale scores and performance levels:

  • Scale scores represent the average performance of students who took the LTT assessment in mathematics and reading. Scores are aggregated and reported for the nation and groups of students based on gender, race/ethnicity, etc.
  • Performance levels are reported as the percentages of students attaining specific levels of performance corresponding to five points on the NAEP long-term trend reading and mathematics scales (150, 200, 250, 300, and 350).
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Last updated 05 March 2024 (DS)