National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
WHAT IS THE NAEP?
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as "the Nation's Report Card," is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas.
NAEP mathematics and reading assessments are given every two years to a nationally representative sample of students in fourth and eighth grades. NAEP provides an important comparison across states and between student groups (e.g., female students, Hispanic students, students with disabilities). NAEP assesses fourth and eighth grades because these grades represent critical junctures in academic achievement.
NAEP performance levels – Basic, Proficient and Advanced – measure what students should know and be able to do at the grade assessed. NAEP also reports the proportion of students whose scores place them below the Basic achievement level, termed BELOW BASIC.
BASIC represents partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade assessed.
PROFICIENT represents solid academic performance for each grade assessed. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, including subject-matter knowledge, application of such knowledge to real-world situations, and analytical skills appropriate to the subject matter.
ADVANCED represents superior performance at each grade assessed.
Information about how students with disabilities are included in the NAEP is available here.
WHY IS NAEP IMPORTANT?
Beginning in 2014 the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Dept. of Education (ED) instituted a revised approach to the way it determines how states are implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as Results Driven Accountability (RDA). According to ED this change in accountability represented a significant and long-overdue raising of the bar for special education. (Read our report on the RDA state determination process after 5 years.)
The performance and participation of students with disabilities (students with IEPs) on the NAEP in mathematics and reading play an important role in this new rating system. Information on how each state performed on ED's annual ratings is available here. Importantly, the performance of students with disabilities on annual state assessments in math and reading is not included in the ratings - only the participation of students with disabilities. In fact, NAEP accounts for two-thirds of a state's total score on the "results" part of states' annual rating (compliance elements also play a big part.) Get more information on annual determinations (PDF). Details on how OSEP makes annual determinations are available here (WORD).
SO HOW ARE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES DOING?
The last administration of NAEP took place in early 2019. Results were released in October of 2019. We've provided several analyses of the performance of students with disabilities on the NAEP. Take a tour of the results:
NAEP Results of Students with Disabilities :: Nationwide for 2017-2015-2013 Information on how students with disabilities (IEPs only) performed on the NAEP administrations nationwide.
NAEP Results of Students with Disabilities :: National results for 2019-2017-2015 for students with disabilities (IEPs only) compared to students without disabilities (public schools) for the most recent 3 NAEP administrations.
2017 NAEP Results of Students with Disabilities :: Rank-ordered by State The percentage of students with disabilities performing at Basic or above rank-ordered from highest to lowest states and compared to the nation and information on how OSEP scores achievement and participation for annual determinations.
2019 NAEP Results of Students with Disabilities :: Rank-ordered by State The percentage of students with disabilities performing at Basic or above rank-ordered from highest to lowest states and compared to the nation.
2017 NAEP Results of Students with Disabilities by Achievement Level by State The percentage of students with disabilities performing at Basic or above and at each NAEP achievement level compared to the nation.
NAEP Results of Students with Disabilities :: by State for 2017-2015-2013 Information on how students with disabilities performed on the 2017-2015-2013 administrations of the NAEP by state.
2017 NAEP Results of Students with Disabilities :: Nationwide by Race/Ethnicity Information on how students with disabilities performed by race/ethnicity in 2017.