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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 achievement in reading and mathematics of AI/AN fourth- and eighth-graders. NIES is conducted under the direction of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Indian Education (OIE).

National Indian Education Study 2019

The average mathematics and reading scores for fourth- and eighth-graders attending BIE school were higher than scores in 2007.

Student walking with a backpack over one shoulder.

Overview of Study & NIES Data

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. NAEP is administered as a digitally based assessment.

NIES Introduction video image of students.
An Introduction to the National Indian Education Study
Image of NIES insights webinar video.
Insights on American Indian and Alaska Native Students from NIES 2015: A Closer Look (June 2019)
Image of NIES data video.
Using Data to Understand the Current Condition of Education for American Indian and Alaska Native Students (September 2021)

2019 NIES Survey Questionnaire Qualitative Data Companion

The NIES study design includes students taking the 2019 NAEP operational assessment followed by a short survey questionnaire specific to AI/AN students about the role of AI/AN culture in students' lives and school experiences. See the data companion overview with responses from students and teachers released April 6, 2022.

Survey Design

The NIES survey explores the K-12 education 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 for diverse student groups were collected for analysis.

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

NIES FactSheet

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Indian Education Study (NIES)?
What is the purpose of NIES?
Who conducted the study?
Who participated in NIES and what were the inclusion and accommodation rates?
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 answers to the most frequently asked questions about NAEP.

Learn More

Last updated 03 April 2024 (DS)