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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.
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.
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.
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.
See frequently asked questions about NAEP.Learn More