National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Photo of students in a classroom sitting in front of computer screens.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was developed in 1969 to measure student achievement nationally, and is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Since 1983, ETS, on behalf of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), has developed content, analyzed data and reported results for NAEP, often referred to as "The Nation's Report Card." Assessments are conducted periodically in the arts, civics, economics, geography, mathematics, reading, science, U.S. history and writing.


ETS has assisted the NAEP program in introducing numerous psychometric and assessment design innovations over the years. Most recently, NAEP has deployed a digitally-based writing assessment, incorporated interactive inquiry tasks into its science assessment and developed and administered the first national assessment in technology and engineering literacy (TEL).

NAEP Data Explorer (NDE)

Developed by ETS researchers, the NAEP Data Explorer (NDE) is a powerful statistical tool that encompasses many analytical functions such as sophisticated searching, data comparison and chart and table creation. The enhanced NDE makes it even easier to explore NAEP results. This interactive, user-friendly web tool lets users do the following:

  • Build custom statistical tables, animated graphics and state maps using NAEP data.
  • Explore decades of assessment results for various subjects, grades and jurisdictions.
  • View information about factors that may be related to student learning.

To learn more about how to use the NDE, watch this short video or access the Quick Reference Guide.

Latest NAEP Reports

Special Studies

  • Graphic from The Nation’s Report Card: Vocabulary 2013.
    The Nation's Report Card: Vocabulary 2013
    This special report focuses on students' performance on vocabulary questions that were part of the NAEP 2013 reading assessment. Students were asked to demonstrate their understanding of words used in literary and informational texts to highlight the importance of vocabulary in reading comprehension.
  • Graphic from The Nation’s Report Card: Mathematics in Puerto Rico 2013.
    The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics in Puerto Rico 2013
    This report focuses on the performance of students on the 2013 NAEP mathematics assessment administered in Spanish to public school students in Puerto Rico. Average scores for fourth-graders did not change significantly from 2011 to 2013.
  • Cover from The Nation’s Report Card: Mega-States 2011.
    The Nation's Report Card: Mega-States 2011
    This report offers a comprehensive look at achievement trends amid the shifting demographics of the country's five most heavily populated "mega-states" — California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. The focus is on the academic performance of students in grades 4 and 8 in reading, mathematics and science.
  • Cover from The Nation’s Report Card: High School Transcript Study 2009.
    The Nation's Report Card: High School Transcript Study 2009
    This study analyzed transcripts from a representative sample of 37,700 public and private high school graduates nationwide to show what courses they were taking, how many credits they earned and their grade point averages. It also examined the relationship between course-taking patterns and student achievement, as measured by the NAEP assessments using a subsample of approximately 30,100 of the graduates who also took NAEP.

NAEP Archives

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