National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)


The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) is the nation’s only ongoing representative sample survey of student achievement in core subject areas, and commonly called “the Nation's Report Card.” It measures what students should know and can do in grades 4, 8, and 12.  While NAEP assesses a sample of students each year, NAEP reports scores at the state and national level every two years in mathematics and reading and every four years in writing and science. Other subjects at the national level only are added on the “off” years, as funds are available.

NAEP is administered to students in these grades in schools throughout the country from January to March. Results are generally released in six to twelve months after administration for assessments with state results.

NAEP reports academic performance of West Virginia students and schools and enables West Virginia Department of Education to chart where West Virginia as a state compares to the nation.

NAEP policy is set by the National Assessment Governing Board. As a bipartisan, independent federal board, the Governing Board decides on the content and performance standards for NAEP. They are also responsible for setting the schedule of assessments.

Results are compared to results of previous NAEP assessments to show growth. Students’ performance on the assessment is described in terms of percentages of students attaining three achievement levels: Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. The achievement levels are collective judgments of what students should know and be able to do.

NAEP has been an operational national assessment since 1969 with national results only. In 1990, NAEP began a trial-state assessment.  West Virginia participated in State NAEP every year since 1990.  cautionCaution should be used when comparing state results from the NAEP assessment and the state testing program, WESTEST 2.  Both these assessments provide valuable information; however, they are different tests and should be considered as such. Review Comparisons of NAEP and the federal state assessment program for overall comparions of the NAEP program and an overview of the federally required state assessment program. For West Virginia specific information, see NAEP and WESTEST 2 comparisons.

For additional information, visit these websites:

  1. NAEP Questions Tool:
  2. NAEP Data Explorer:
  3. The Nation’s Report Card:
  4. NAEP Assessment Frameworks:
National Assessment Governing Board NAEP website: