National Assessment of Educational Progress

NAEP is known as the Nation's Report Card

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. Its major goals are to measure student achievement and to report change in performance over time. NAEP provides results for the nation and for the states, but does not provide scores for Idaho school districts, schools, classrooms, or individual students.

Idaho Students Excel in Vocabulary

Idaho Students performed above the national average in vocabulary, according to the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress in Reading, the longest standing nationally representative measure of what American Students know and can do.

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Beginning in 2009, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) integrated a measure of studentsí understanding of word meaning, or vocabulary, within the measurement of reading comprehension. For the NAEP meaning vocabulary assessment, students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of words as used in literary and informational texts that they read in the reading assessment.

Idaho Vocabulary Results

The average scale score for Idaho’s 4th graders was 220, higher than the national average of 218.

The average scale score for Idaho’s 8th graders was 272, placing Idaho 8th graders among the top in the Nation, behind only Massachusetts and New Hampshire at 273 and above the national average scale score of 264.

Idaho’s 12th graders average scale score is 301 – above the national average scale score of 293 and behind New Hampshire and Connecticut. Out of 13 states to have comparative data from 2009, Idaho was one of only 6 states to show an increase in Scale Score in 2013.

Vocabulary Scores Show Correlation to Reading Comprehension

Both the NAEP reading comprehension and vocabulary scores are reported on 0–500 scales, but because the two scales were developed independently, the results cannot be directly compared. It is possible, however, to look at the vocabulary scores in relation to the performance of students in reading comprehension.

According to the National results, students who performed well on the vocabulary questions also performed well overall in reading comprehension. At all three grades, students who had the highest average vocabulary scores in 2013 were the students performing above the 75th percentile in reading comprehension; and students who had the lowest vocabulary scores were those students performing at or below the 25th percentile in reading comprehension.

For more information on the 2013 NAEP Vocabulary scores, please visit

NAEP 2013 Data Release

Previously, information from NAEP (The Nation's Report Card) has been released in PDF format. This year marks a change where all of the information is released on an interactive website ( Please use this website to access information from the 2013 NAEP data release.

NAEP is also part of the Idaho Statewide Testing Program
pdf icon Idaho Administrative Code: Assessment in the Public Schools (IDAPA 08.02.111)
pdf icon NAEP Schedule of Assessments through 2017- Approved December 3, 2011

The Idaho State Board of Education includes NAEP (at grades 4, 8, and 12) in the state testing program because it gives us comparative state and national information about student achievement in reading, mathematics, science and writing. Even though the U.S. Department of Education pays for and administers NAEP, there is no federal requirement that an individual student complete all or any part of the assessment. However, Idaho administrative law does require that students enrolled in Idaho public schools (and public charter schools) participate in NAEP, if selected, just as they would in the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests or any of the other state mandated assessments.

NAEP "Proficient" is not the same as state "proficient."

State assessments often define 'proficiency' as solid grade-level performance, often indicating readiness for promotion to the next grade. NAEP's policy definition of its 'Proficient' achievement level is 'competency over challenging subject matter' and is implicitly intended to be higher than grade-level performance. -- Andrew Kolstad, Senior Technical Advisor, Assessment Division, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009.