The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as The Nation's Report Card, is a congressionally authorized project. It is conducted as a representative-sample survey, and is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.
The Nation's Report Card is the only nationally representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of education in the United States and has served as a national yardstick of student achievement since 1969. Through the National Assessment of Educational Progress, The Nation's Report Card informs the public about what America's students know and can do in various subject areas, and compares achievement data between states and various student demographic groups.
State-by-state NAEP assessments, which originally began in 1990, are administered to students in grades 4 and 8 in reading, mathematics, writing, and science. Since 2002, testing in reading and mathematics for grades 4 and 8 is required of all states every two years under the No Child Left Behind Act. States may also, at their option, assess their 4th and 8th grade students every fourth year in either NAEP writing or science.
All students who participate in NAEP do so on a voluntary basis. NAEP is forbidden by law to maintain or report information on individual students or schools.
There's a wealth of information regarding NAEP is available to the public via the Internet, including how Wyoming has performed in the past and compared the rest of the country, the content frameworks and test specifications underlying NAEP assessments, NAEP released test items for teachers and administrators to review, the NAEP calendar of future assessments, online analysis, and what every parent should know about NAEP.