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Why Is My Child's Participation Important?

Without the participation of each child selected, NAEP would not be as representative as it needs to be to provide fair, accurate, and useful information on student achievement. Your child will represent hundreds of students in your state. Without your child's participation, NAEP would not fully represent students in schools similar to your child's with respect to geographic location, minority enrollment, and other characteristics.

NAEP provides the common measure we need to tell us how America's students are performing in various subject areas. It informs us how student performance has changed over time, and allows states to compare their progress with that of other states and the nation as a whole.

As the "Nation's Report Card," NAEP must provide data that accurately represent all students. To reduce the burden of testing, NAEP selects the fewest possible schools and students that will provide an accurate picture of a state or the nation. Because of this, it is important that all students selected to participate in NAEP agree to do so.

Historically, almost all students selected take the NAEP assessment. States want their results to be accurate and fair indicators of how well their students are doing. The results are widely publicized. Your state's performance is often presented in comparison with other states and the nation, as is the progress that your state makes from one assessment to another. The state board of education and your legislature use the results for planning programs to address specific needs in your state. The amount of federal funding that your state receives may also be affected by participation in NAEP. If your state is underrepresented, it might miss out on federal funds that are tied to your state's full participation in NAEP.

Most states have participated in NAEP in past years. View your State Profile to see when your state or other jurisdiction participated and how it performed.

Last updated 16 August 2007 (MH)