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Staff and Administrators (Private/Other Nonpublic Schools)

The participation of private and other nonpublic schools (the Bureau of Indian Education, the Department of Defense, Puerto Rico, and other overseas institutions) in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is essential for examining the picture of education in the United States and informing future policy decisions.

Private schools represent about 25 percent of schools in the nation and educate about 9 percent of the students. In order to have a complete picture of the academic progress of the nation's students, selected students in public and nonpublic schools must participate in NAEP.

How Are Private Schools Performing?

In 2013, 66% of eighth graders in private schools and 47% of eighth graders in public schools were able to recognize the meaning of a word as used in a persuasive essay on the reading assessment.

Results for private school performance are published on the Nation’s Report Card website. Results are reported as a national average for Catholic schools and other private schools, but cannot be reported for states because the numbers of private school students asked to participate are too small to produce reliable results if reported by state.

NAEP also disseminates information about students’ learning experiences in and out of the classroom, which is collected from students, teachers, and school survey questionnaires. This data helps place achievement results into context and allows meaningful comparison between student groups. This information can be used to inform parents, the public, and education policymakers about our nation’s educational environment.

Explore Private School Data

Representative NAEP data on line graph.

Use the Private School Quick Data Tool for a quick but detailed look at results for private schools.

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Your Participation Matters

The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) strongly encourages private schools to participate in NAEP, an essential measure of student achievement in the United States.

--Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director, CAPE

Your school has been selected to represent other private or nonpublic schools across the nation. Your participation in NAEP can help provide answers to important questions such as the following:

  • How has private school student performance in NAEP subjects changed over time?
  • How does the performance of students in private schools compare to the performance of public school students?
  • How do coursetaking patterns relate to student performance?

The participation of your private or nonpublic school enables The Nation's Report Card to provide a more inclusive picture of what our nation's private school students know and can do in key subject areas, and provides policymakers and educators with data to guide decisions in policy and educational practices in the classroom.

NAEP 2019-2020 Assessments

From October 2019 and continuing through May 2020, NAEP field staff will administer the long-term trend assessments in mathematics and reading in public and private schools across the country. Long-term trend (LTT) results can be linked to NAEP assessments first administered in the early 1970s, allowing us to measure progress over a span of nearly 50 years. The age samples for long-term trend assessments are 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds.

Selected students will participate in paper-based mathematics or reading assessments, and each student will be assessed in only one subject. NAEP representatives will bring all materials and equipment to the school on assessment day. Students will spend up to 90 minutes completing the assessment. This includes transition time, directions, and completion of a student survey questionnaire. The questionnaire provides valuable information about students’ educational experiences and opportunities to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. There will be no school or teacher questionnaires for the long-term trend assessment.

See additional information about the 2019-2020 program in your private school in the resources below:

How are Private Schools Selected for Participation?

For each NAEP assessment, a sample of schools is selected from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS), which collects and stores data on more than 33,000 nonpublic schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The number of private schools sampled for NAEP changes from year to year depending on the assessment.


Last updated 24 May 2019 (DS)