Recently, policymakers at the Arkansas Department of Education were pleased to release the results of the 2008 Benchmark exams, which indicate more Arkansas students are becoming proficient each year. This is good news for Arkansas, as the Benchmark exam is an Arkansasdeveloped exam used to compare student performance to state standards. Nevertheless, it is also important to take note of how Arkansas students perform compared to students across the nation, which is where the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) plays an important role. The NAEP, also known as “the Nation’s Report Card,” allows student performance to be compared state-to-state. It is one of the only nationally representative and continuing assessments of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. It also known for being more rigorous than some state standards. Students across the country are periodically assessed on the NAEP, in such areas as reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography, and the arts. In recognition of the necessity to assess student performance, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates that all states participate in the regular administration of the NAEP exams.
Kent, Sarah B.; Jensen, Nathan C.; and Ritter, Gary W., "What Does NAEP Tell Us About Student Achievement in Arkansas?" (2008). Arkansas Education Reports. 46.