Dictionary of Data Terms
Rhode Island's School Accountability System takes various measures into account to classify schools in ways that help officials and the public understand the range of school quality from thriving to needing significant help.
For detailed Information about Accountability, see the Accountability Advanced Reports data guide (pdf).
Classification Status has six summary evaluations, which are defined as follows:
Commended: The strongest performance across all measures.
Leading: Strong achievement in reading and math, small or no gaps between groups of students, and/or are improving student achievement.
Typical: Performance at or near the state average, sometimes with pockets of strength and/or challenges in one or more areas.
Warning: A combination of low achievement in reading and math, unacceptable gaps, little or no improvement in achievement or graduation rates, and/or failure to test enough students.
Focus: Substandard achievement in reading and math and/or unacceptable achievement gaps.
Priority: The lowest achievement in reading and math, intolerable performance.
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)
The PARCC Assessments are administered to children in Rhode Island schools that receive public education funding, according to the following protocol:
- English Language Arts/Literacy – grades 3 through 10
- Math – grades 3 through 8, Algebra I, and Geometry
In 2014-15, students took the PARCC Math and ELA/Literacy exams both in the spring (late March or early April) and at the end of the year (May). In order to have a reportable score for 2014-15, students must have participated in both exams. In 2015-16, PARCC assessments will be given during one window.
PARCC measures student progress toward college and career readiness using the Common Core State Standards. All PARCC results are published to the public. The state uses PARCC assessments to meet the accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal law.
Based on the knowledge and skills demonstrated in each exam, students are assigned to one of the following performance levels:
Level 5 - Exceeded expectations Level 4 - Met expectations Level 3 - Approached expectations Level 2 - Partially met expectations Level 1 - Did not yet meet expectations
You can access additional school, district, and statewide reports on the Rhode Island Instructional Support System. Scatter plots are also available for PARCC proficiency by poverty for Math and ELA/Literacy.
New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP)
NECAP Assessments are administered annually to children in Rhode Island schools that receive public education funding, according to the following protocol:
- Math - grades 3 through 8 and 11
- Reading - grades 3 through 8 and 11
- Writing - grades 5, 8 and 11
- Science - grades 4, 8 and 11
Students take the NECAP Math, Reading and Writing assessments in the fall. NECAP Science assessments are taken in the spring. All NECAP results are published to the public. The state uses Math and Reading NECAP assessments to meet the accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal law.
Proficient with Distinction: Students demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to participate and excel in instructional activities at the current grade level.
Proficient: Students demonstrate only minor gaps in the knowledge and skills needed to participate and excel in instructional activities at the current grade level, and it is likely that these gaps can be addressed during the course of typical classroom instruction.
Partially Proficient: Students demonstrate gaps in the knowledge and skills needed to participate and excel in instructional activities at the current grade level. Additional instructional support may be necessary for these students to meet grade-level expectations.
Substantially Below Proficient: Students demonstrate extensive and significant gaps in the knowledge and skills needed to participate and excel in instructional activities at the current grade level. Additional instructional support is necessary for these students to meet grade-level expectations.
You can also access school, district, and statewide reports prepared by Measured Progress, the company that administers the NECAP assessments.
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
The College Board creates and administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), a college admission test that is not part of Rhode Island's assessment program. Students who so choose pay to take the test which examines in the areas of reading, writing and math. Most colleges require SAT scores as part of the application process. The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association of schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations.
The data presented on InfoWorks display the average SAT scores in each tested area (Math, Reading, Writing) for high school students — typically juniors and seniors — who took the exam the prior academic year. A perfect SAT score on each individual test is 800 points.
The College Board instituted a new version of the SAT in March of 2016. Because of this change, the Board reports scores for the class of 2016 only for those who took the exam through January of 2016 (i.e., the last administration of the older version of SAT). Therefore, class of 2016 data — which are based on a shorter testing window — are not directly comparable to previous class years of SAT data — each of which includes scores for the entirety of the relevant school year.
The College Board's website has the most recent reports on each state's results.
Advanced Placement (AP)
The College Board created, administers, and scores Advanced Placement (AP) Exams to assess college-level learning in 37 subject areas. The College Board works with high schools nationally to develop the curriculum for AP courses, which many schools offer, to prepare their students for the exams and for college.
Number of Exams Taken: This indicator reports how many exams were administered in each high school, district and the state during the year.
Number of Students to Take an Exam: These data report how many unique students took an AP exam during the year. Many students take more than one AP exam in a given year. While most exams are taken by seniors, sometimes juniors, sophomore, and even freshmen take AP exams.
Number and Percent of Exams Scored at College-Mastery Level: "Mastery" is a score of at least 3, on a scale from 1 to 5. The College Board considers a score of 3 to represent "mid-level C performance in college," while 4 and 5 count as a "B" or "A" respectively. Colleges and universities differ as to whether they'll actually grant college credit for "mastery-level" AP exams.
Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)
The Developmental Reading Assessment is required for accountability purposes only in those schools where the highest grade is first grade, also known as "early grade schools". Other schools use the test for their own purposes, but only "early grade schools" are required to administer and report the DRA.
Teachers with Emergency Certification
Individuals who do not qualify for full state certification may be granted an emergency certificate to teach in the public schools, upon written request of the Superintendent of Schools, when fully certified applicants are not available. The Superintendents must advertise for certified candidates in the statewide newspaper and must first contact local colleges and universities with educator-preparation programs.
For more details, information about certification, and application forms, see RIDE's Educator Certification page.
Not Highly Qualified Teachers
Legal change as of the 2012-2013 school year:
Rhode Island's waiver to the No Child Left Behind Law exempted the state from reporting on "Highly Qualified Teachers." Henceforth these data will no longer be reported, but historical data can be found in the Data Finder. (NCLB required that a core-academic teacher have had 1) a Bachelor's Degree, 2) full state certification, and 3) demonstrated subject matter competency in the core academic subject(s) by having a major or its equivalent or by passing a rigorous content knowledge test).
Teacher-Student Ratio (All Teachers)
The ratio of teachers to students is a simple calculation dividing the number the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers in a school by the number of students. These data are collected annually on October 1, when the State takes a snapshot count of that day's total number of students and FTE, certified teachers.
Teacher-Student Ratio (Classroom Teachers)
This ratio of teachers to students is calculated by dividing the number of Classroom-Instruction teachers only — not Guidance, psychologists, itinerants, etc. — by the number of students. This count is also taken on October 1.
Families and Communities
Students Eligible for Subsidized Lunch
Indicates the percentage of students from families whose income falls below federal guidelines (poverty or near-poverty) and are therefore eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch.
Students from Various Racial/Ethnic Backgrounds
African-American: A student having origins in any of the African-American racial groups, not including people of Hispanic origins.
Asian: A student having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Pacific Islands, e.g., China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands and Samoa.
Hispanic: A student of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Multiracial: The federal government does not use a demographic category of "multiracial," so this indicates that students have checked more than one racial option.
Native American: A student having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, including American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts.
White: A student having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, or the Indian subcontinent.
Students Receiving ESL/Bilingual Education Services
Indicates the percentage of children receiving special English Language Services.
English as a Second Language: Students receive content area instruction solely in English while learning English as a second language.
Bilingual Education: Students receive instruction in both English and another language to support content-area learning while learning English as a second language.
Students Receiving Special Education Services
Indicates the percentage of children who have an Individual Education Plan or IEP. An IEP specifies what special-education services the child should be receiving.
Safe and Supportive Schools
The percentage of time enrolled students were present during each district's required instructional days per year. The state mandates a minimum of 180 days.
The percentage of students who missed 10% or more school days during the year. This calculation only includes students who were enrolled at least 90 days in a given school or district.
Four-Year Graduation Rate
Graduated within 4 Years: The percentage of students who enrolled in the 9th grade and graduated from high school four years later.
Dropped Out: The percentage of students who enrolled in the 9th grade, but withdrew from school or exited for unknown reasons. In 2012 the Legislature raised the legal age at which a student could formally withdraw from 16 to 18 years of age. Therefore, the data will be inconsistent after the 2012-13 year because those previously recorded as "dropped out" will now be considered "absent."
Received General Equivalency Diploma (GED): The percentage of students in a "cohort," defined as those who entered the 9th grade together, who chose to obtain a GED instead of earning a conventional high-school diploma.
Still in School: The percentage of students who stay in school longer than four years to complete their high school diploma.
Five-Year Graduation Rate
The total percentage of graduates adding together those who graduated on time with their original 9th grade cohort and those in the same cohort who graduated a year later, after five years in high school.
Graduated within 4 Years: This is the percentage of students who enrolled in the 9th grade and graduated from high school four years later.
Graduated in 5 Years: This is the percentage of students who graduated high school five years after they first enrolled in the 9th grade.
Graduated within 5 Years: This is the percentage of students who enrolled in the 9th grade and graduated from high school either four or five years later.
Incidents of Suspension - Rates
Total Students Enrolled: The average number of students enrolled during the school year — aka Average Daily Membership. This is different than other counts of students you see on the site, which counts the number of students enrolled as of October 1st of each school year.
Average Daily Membership (ADM): The average number of students enrolled on any given day. This is calculated by adding up the total number of days each student was enrolled during a school year and dividing this by the number of days in a school year.
Total Students Suspended: An unduplicated head count of the number of students who were suspended at least once.
Total Days Suspended: The sum of the total number of days students spent in suspension, for all incidents.
Suspensions per 100 Students: The number of incidents of suspensions per 100 students enrolled. The rate is calculated by dividing the total number of suspensions by the total number of students enrolled and multiplying this by 100.
Total Suspensions: Total number of individual incidents, no matter how long the suspension.
Incidents of Suspension - Consequences
Out-of-School Suspension: The temporary dismissal of a student from school by duly authorized school personnel in accordance with established regulation. Students serve their suspension outside of school. According to 2012 RI legislation, students may no longer be suspended out-of-school for attendance-related offenses.
In-School Suspension: The temporary dismissal of a student from class by duly authorized school personnel in accordance with established regulation. Students serve their time in these suspensions under supervision during school hours.
Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES): The removal of a child with a disability to an alternative educational setting, following a serious disciplinary infraction, usually involving weapons or serious bodily injury of another person. This category was added at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
Alternative Placement: Placed in an alternative program for disciplinary reasons. Discontinued after the 2012-2013 school year. Most of these are now coded as In-School Suspensions; a few may be coded as placements in an Interim Alternative Education Setting.
More information can be found in the Rhode Island Compilation of School Discipline Laws and Regulations (pdf).
Incidents of Suspension - Infractions
Alcohol: Possession, use or sale of intoxicating alcoholic beverages. Includes being under the influence of alcohol on school grounds or at school events.
Arson: To unlawfully and intentionally damage, or attempt to damage any real or personal property by fire or incendiary device.
Assault/Battery of Student: An actual intentional touching or striking of another student against his or her will, intentionally causing bodily harm. Includes an attack with a weapon or threat with a weapon. Used only when the attack is very serious. Renamed from "Assault of a Student by a Student" in 2012-13. Redefined to specify "includes an attack with a weapon or threat with a weapon" in 2012-13.
Assault/Battery of Teacher: An actual intentional touching or striking of a teacher or staff member against his or her will, intentionally causing bodily harm. Includes an attack with a weapon or threat with a weapon. Used only when the attack is very serious. Renamed from "Assault of a Teacher or Other School Staff by a Student" in 2012-13. Redefined to specify "includes an attack with a weapon or threat with a weapon" in 2012-13.
Attendance - Cut/Skipped Class: Absence from class. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.
Attendance - Cut/Skipped Detention: Absence from detention. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.
Attendance - Cut/Skipped In-School Suspension: Absence from in-school suspension. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.
Attendance - Left School Grounds: Leaving school grounds without permission. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.
Attendance - Tardy/Late: Repeated tardiness/late arrival at school or class. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Renamed from "Tardy" in 2012-13. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.
Attendance - Truant: Absent for the day without authorization. Per state law, this infraction may not result in an out-of-school suspension. Redefined for legal change in 2012-13.
Bomb Threat: Any threat to bomb or use other substances or devices for the purpose of causing damage to a school property, or to harm students or staff.
Breaking and Entering: The unlawful entry into a school building or other property with the intent to commit a crime. Discontinued after the 2011-12 school year.
Cheating/Plagiarism: Any act of academic dishonesty or breaking the rules to gain academic advantage, including cheating on tests or other assignments and appropriating another's work as one's own without the required citation or attribution. Created in 2012-13.
Communication/Electronic Devices: Having on one's person or unauthorized use of a paging device, cellular telephone, or other electronic communication device that violates the Code of Conduct.
Controlled Substances - Sale of/Possession with Intent to Sell: The sale of-or possession of, with the intent to sell-any controlled drug or narcotic substance or equipment and device used for preparing or taking drugs or narcotics. Category includes over-the-counter and prescription medications if abused by students. Prior to 2012-13, this was split into separate infractions: "Controlled Substances-Sale of" and "Controlled Substances-Possession with Intent to Sell."
Controlled Substances - Possession or Under Influence: The unlawful use, purchase, possession, or transportation of any controlled drug or narcotic substance, or equipment and device used for preparing or taking drugs or narcotics. Category includes over-the-counter and prescription medications if abused by the student. Includes being under the influence of drugs on school transportation, at school-sponsored events or at school. Redefined to not specify "cultivation," "manufacture," or "distribution" in 2012-13.
Disorderly Conduct: Any act which substantially disrupts the orderly conduct of a school function. This includes behavior which substantially disrupts the orderly learning environment or poses a threat to the health, safety, and/or welfare of students, staff, or others. This includes incidents which occur on the school bus at school-sponsored events, or on school grounds. Redefined to specify "If the action results in a more serious incident, report in the more serious incident category" in 2012-13.
Extortion: Unlawfully obtaining money, property, or any other thing of value, either tangible or intangible, through the use or threat of force, misuse of authority, threat of criminal persecution, threat of destruction of reputation or social standing, or through other coercive means. Discontinued after the 2011-12 school year. Combined with "Threat/Intimidation."
Fighting/Physical Altercation: Participation in a fight involving physical violence. Includes minor physical altercations and tussles, but does not include verbal confrontations. Very serious incidents are coded as Assault/Battery. "Renamed from "Fighting" in 2012-13. Redefined such that fighting is not necessarily mutual in 2012-13."
Fire Regulations Violation: Causing a false fire alarm or otherwise causing others to believe that there is a fire without reasonable belief that there actually is a fire or emergency; possession of matches or lighters.
Forgery: Forging or tampering with school-related documents.
Gambling: To unlawfully bet or wager money or something else of value; assist, promote or operate a game of chance; tamper with the outcome of a sporting event or contest to gain a gambling advantage.
Gang Activity - Non-violent Incident: Participation in activity that is not violent, per se, but is characterized by membership in or affiliation with a gang. A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over turf, and engaging in violent or other illegal activity. Includes wearing or displaying gang symbol, dress, or colors. Renamed from "Gang Activity" in 2012-13. Redefined to include non-violent incidents only and to specify gangs as groups "engaging in violent or other illegal activity" rather than only groups with turf concerns and symbols in 2012-13.
Harassment - Stalking: Threatening by following or watching the victim or placing her/him in fear of receiving bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint. Includes stalking carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device. Redefined to specify "Includes stalking carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device" in 2012-13.
Harassment - Sexual: Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature which is offensive and objectionable to the recipient, causing discomfort or humiliation. Includes sexual harassment carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device. Redefined to remove "interfering with school performance" qualification and to specify "Includes sexual harassment carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device" in 2012-13.
Harassment - Verbal/Physical: Verbal or physical conduct relating to an individual's membership in a class — including, but not limited to, perceived race, religion, color, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, political beliefs, marital status, age, social and family background, linguistic preference, or disability that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment. Discontinued after the 2011-12 school year. Combined with "Threat/Intimidation."
Harassment - Prejudice/Hate Crimes: An action motivated by hostility or hatred due to some characteristics or perceived characteristics of the victim. Any act, or attempted act, to cause physical injury, emotional suffering or property damage through intimidation, harassment, racial/ethnic slurs and bigoted epithets, vandalism, force, motivated all or in part by hostility to the victim's real or perceived race, religion, color, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, political beliefs, marital status, age, social and family background, linguistic preference, or disability. Includes prejudice-related harassment or hate crimes carried out through the use of technology or any electronic device. Renamed from "Harassment-Prejudice" in 2012-13.
Hazing: Method of initiation into any team, organization, group, club, etc., which causes or is likely to cause bodily danger, harm, personal degradation, disgrace, humiliation, or mental harm.
Insubordination/Disrespect: Refusing a directive of a teacher, administrator or other staff member.
Kidnapping/Abduction: The unlawful seizure, transportation and/or detention of a person against his/her will, or of a minor without the consent of his/her custodial parent(s) or legal guardian.
Larceny/Theft: The unlawful taking, carrying, leading or riding away of property of another person without threat, violence or bodily harm. Renamed from "Larceny" in 2012-13.
Obscene/Abusive Language toward Student: To direct obscene, offensive, indecent, disgusting, abusive, harsh, injurious or insulting language or gestures, verbally or in writing, to a student, repeatedly or excessively.
Obscene/Abusive Language toward Teacher: To direct obscene, offensive, indecent, disgusting, abusive, harsh, injurious or insulting language or gestures, or in writing, to a teacher or other staff member.
Other: Any school conduct violation/incident resulting in short- or long-term suspension not classified in other required codes. Discontinued after the 2012-13 school year.
Robbery: The taking of, or attempting to take, anything of value that is owned by another person or organization under confrontational circumstances by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. Created in 2012-13.
Sexual Assault/Battery: A sexual act committed on another person without their consent or ability to consent. Causing another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by use of force or threat of force. Includes rape (oral, anal, or vaginal), fondling, forced kissing, and child molestation. Created in 2012-13.
Sexual Misconduct: Any act of a sexual nature which substantially disrupts the orderly conduct of a school function. Includes sexual activity, indecent exposure, and displaying pornographic imagery. Serious, non-consensual offenses are coded as Sexual Assault/Battery. Created in 2012-13.
Technology - Unauthorized Use of Computers/Other Tech Unauthorized or inappropriate use of technology; willfully causing or attempting to cause damage to technology or data. This includes any violation of local technology policies but does not include cyber bullying.
Threat/Intimidation: To unlawfully place another person in fear of bodily harm through verbal threats without displaying a weapon or subjecting the person to actual physical attack. This also includes bullying.
Bullying: Written, verbal, electronic or physical behaviors or gestures, which target a specific victim. Behaviors may include, but are not limited to, verbal or written abuse, physical abuse, damaging property, threats, harassment, ethnic or gender slurs.
Tobacco: Where applicable, the possession, use, distribution or sale of tobacco products on school grounds, school-sponsored events and on transportation to and from school or other school transportation. Renamed from "Tobacco" in 2012-13.
Trespassing/Restricted Area: To enter or remain on a public school campus or restricted area without authorization or invitation and with no lawful purpose for entry. May include breaking in with the intent to commit a crime. Renamed from "Trespassing" in 2013-14.
Vandalism: The willful and/or malicious destruction, damage or defacement of public or private property, real or personal, without the consent of the owner of the person having custody or control of it. This category includes graffiti.
Weapon Possession: The possession of any weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of causing, bodily injury on another person. Includes firearms, bombs and other explosive devices, knives, other sharp objects, blunt objects, or harmful chemicals, as well as realistic replicas. Includes use of a weapon in which no other individuals were injured, threatened, or frightened.
The proportion of the total student enrollment who stayed in the same school throughout the school year. The rate is calculated by taking the number of students who are members of a school for 170 days or more and dividing by the total number of students enrolled in the school during the year.
The rate of student turnover, or the percentage of students who moved into or out of the school during the school year. The rate is calculated by taking the total number of students entering or leaving a school between October 1st and June 1st divided by the average daily membership in the school during the school year.
Note: The stability and mobility indicators measure different phenomena and are not inverses of one another. The mobility index measures the rate of flow through the non-stable portion of the student body. Together, the two indicators describe the degree of turnover in the school and its potentially disruptive effect on the classroom environment.
Funding and Resources
Uniform Chart of Accounts (UCOA)
UCOA is a fiscal reporting system that allows every school and district to post their detailed financial information using exactly the same methods and account. This standardization allows the public to make apples-to-apples comparisons of revenues and expenditures across schools and districts, and compared with state averages.
Note: UCOA data for the district where each school is geographically located are reported on school pages. Independent charters and state operated schools are not included in this.
Tax and Spending
Tax and Spending data are calculated by the RI Department of Revenue, Division of Property, Valuation and Municipal Finance. These data points were selected to give the public a comparative sense of each district's ability and effort to support public education.
District Property Value per Student: The property value per student is calculated as the total assessed value of all real property in the district divided by the average daily enrollment of public school students living in the district.
District Tax Rate per $1000.00: Established by local governments, this is a dollar rate per $1,000 of property value on owner-occupied residential properties in the district. The information on tax rates is for owner-occupied residential property. Thus, a $10.00 tax rate on a $500,000 house will raise $5,000 in tax revenue. A house valued at $250,000 will raise only half that amount, or $2,500. A poorer community, whose houses have an average value of $250,000, would have to raise its tax rate to $20.00 per $1,000 in order to generate $5,000.
Except in the wealthiest communities in the state, homestead-exemption plans and classified tax rates have been used to moderate the tax burden on owner-occupied houses so that tax rates on owner-occupied houses in the poorer urban communities are not significantly higher (and may be lower) than tax rates in suburban communities. The urban communities also may tax commercial property at higher rates than the owner-occupied residential property rate.
District Per Pupil Expenditure: The average dollar amount that the district spends for each public school student living in the district.
Jamestown and Little Compton send all high-school students out of district on a tuition basis. The high-school students in these two districts are counted as part of the total number of pupils in determining the per-pupil expenditures.
Median Family Income: From the U.S. Census Bureau, median family income provides more contextual data about the wealth of each municipality.
Considered together, property value, tax rate, and per pupil expenditure indicate each district's ability to generate revenue to support its schools and other municipal services. You will notice the inequities among the 36 districts resulting from the value of their property. Municipal salaries, such as those of teachers, cost roughly the same from community to community, so poor communities must tax their citizens at higher rates to generate the same amount of revenue as wealthier communities. (Note that this tax burden in the urban districts falls on owners of commercial property as well as on owner-occupied residential property.)
The district property tax capacity and tax effort data described below indicate how much a municipality can or could tax its local properties compared with how much it does tax the local properties.
District Property Tax Capacity: This is the amount of taxable property wealth available to a community on a per capita basis. For purposes here among regional schools districts, (for example, Chariho - Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton) the capacities of each municipality have been aggregated to a district capacity. The tax capacity of each district was then divided by the statewide capacity and multiplied by 100.
District Tax Effort: This figure indicates the extent to which a district is taxed in relation to the rest of the state. The property tax of a district is divided by the state average and multiplied by 100.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is often called "the gold standard" of educational testing in the United States. These exams are administered every two years in math and reading to students in grades 4, 8, and/or 12. On a more occasional basis, NAEP tests other academic subjects including science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history. NAEP assessments in foreign language and world history are under development.
Not every child is tested; NAEP "samples" the population, meaning that they test a sufficiently large number of each states' students to get a statistically-representative result. The exam is essentially the same from year to year, providing a clear picture of students' progress over time. NAEP is the only standardized exam given in every state in the nation, allowing the public to compare states accurately. With the exception of certain special reports — on large urban districts, for example — NAEP results are only available at the state level, not the district, school or individual level.
For detailed information about NAEP, along with a historical and projected testing schedule, see the National Center for Education Statistics.
These surveys collect perceptions-and-opinions data from students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Results are available in multiple ways:
School PDF reports with statewide comparisons: Each school has an entire set of student/parent/teacher responses, separated by grade level.
Administrator PDF reports with statewide comparisons: Available only on the State page, individual administrator responses are combined into groups of Local Education Agencies (LEAs): Urban, Urban Ring, Suburban, and State-Operated and Charter Schools.
LEA Administrator PDF reports with statewide comparisons: Available only on the State page, these reports combine reponses from individual LEAs, but are not available for all LEAs, especially the small ones.
Advanced Reports: Individual questions are clustered by topic and available by grade level — elementary, middle, or high. These charts are highly interactive and the tables can be sorted and downloaded to Excel.
A note on InfoWorks data reporting: To ensure confidentiality, data are not reported for groups with fewer than 10 students, so that no individual student is identifiable. Where this is the case, InfoWorks reports "too few data." Also, "no data" is used to point out instances where data are not available for a particular state, district, or school indicator.