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NAEP 2021 student data collection postponed until 2022.

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National Indian Education Study

The National Indian Education Study (NIES) is designed to describe the condition of education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in the United States. The study samples AI/AN students in public, private, Department of Defense, and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) funded schools. Conducted in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2019, the study provides educators, policymakers, and the public with information about the academic performance in reading and mathematics of AI/AN fourth- and eighth-graders.

Explore NIES Results


WATCH NOW - Insights on American Indian and Alaska Native Students from NIES 2015: A Closer Look. In this webinar, Dr. Peggy Carr (NCES Associate Commissioner) and Dr. Susan Faircloth (NIES Technical Review Panel Chair) share highlights from The National Indian Education Study 2015: A Closer Look report.

Overview of the Study

NIES has two main components: NAEP cognitive questions and survey questionnaires. Fourth- and eighth-grade students complete the NAEP mathematics or reading assessment after which they answer a survey questionnaire that gathers information about how Native traditions, languages, and cultures are integrated in their everyday lives. There is a survey given to students in this study as well as for their teachers and school administrators.

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NIES is conducted as part of NAEP and helps to provide a more complete picture of the status of education for AI/AN students in the U.S. In 2019, NIES was administered digitally on tablets for the first time.

Participation in NIES takes about 120 minutes for most students. NIES is designed to provide results for AI/AN student groups, not individual schools or students. Each student takes only a portion of the full assessment, and responses are combined with those from other participating students to produce the results. Student responses on NAEP and NIES are confidential, and the privacy of each participating school and student is essential.

See who participated in the NIES 2015 study.

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NIES Fact Sheet

Read the 2019 Facts for Associate Deputy Directors, Education Program Administrators, and Education Line Officers.

Survey Design

The NIES survey explores the educational experiences of the AI/AN students participating in the NAEP assessments. See how survey results are reported, how the survey sample was designed, and how survey data were collected for analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions About NIES

What is the National Indian Education Study (NIES)?
What is the purpose of NIES?
Who conducted the study?
Who participated in NIES?
Did the sample for NIES differ from the main NAEP sample?
What types of questions were asked in the NIES survey?
Are NIES results available for individual states?
How will the results of NIES be used to further explore education and policy issues related to American Indian/Alaska Native education?
What is the Office of Indian Education (OIE), and what does it do?
Are there other NCES studies describing the education of American Indian/Alaskan Native students?

Frequently Asked Questions About NAEP

See frequently asked questions about NAEP.

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Last updated 23 September 2020 (AA)