Beginning in 2002, states and schools have been able to submit computer files identifying all eligible students directly to NAEP via e-filing. The decision whether to e-file student lists is determined by individual NAEP State Coordinators for their state's public schools, and by school administrators for nonpublic schools. Schools not e-filing student lists are provided hard-copy student listing forms on which they manually record student information for eligible students.
Prior to 2001, all schools were provided hard-copy student listing forms. During preassessment visits, field staff obtained these lists from the schools and used them to select in-field student samples.
Regardless of the method by which listings of eligible students are obtained, NAEP requests student background information in order to accurately select student samples and to analyze the distribution of achievement measures by student characteristics. This information includes each student's sex, race/ethnicity, status as a student with a disability, status as an English language learner, and participation in the National School Lunch Program. (NAEP collected information about each student's participation in targeted or schoolwide Title I programs through the 2005 assessment year.) NAEP ensures the confidentiality of student data throughout the sampling and assessment processes, and results are never reported for individual students or schools.