WestEd assisted the National Assessment Governing Board in updating the Mathematics and Reading Assessment Frameworks for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

For more than four decades, NAEP has served an invaluable role in tracking the nation’s student achievement across time and content areas. NAEP measures the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students through assessments in reading, mathematics, science, writing, and other subjects. The information collected provides a snapshot of the condition of education in the United States.

Under a contract awarded by the National Assessment Governing Board, WestEd led the development of recommendations for updating the NAEP Mathematics and Reading Assessment Frameworks. Having focused on Mathematics in 2018-2019, and on Reading in 2019-2021, WestEd convened panels of subject-matter experts, practitioners, and members of the general public to develop recommendations for updating each NAEP framework. The final phase of the framework update project gathered public comment on the draft version of each framework. WestEd partnered with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) for outreach and gathering public comment.

The resulting updates to the frameworks will be reflected in the administration of the 2026 Mathematics and Reading NAEP.

For more information, please refer to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

  • Congressionally-mandated independent measure of student achievement

  • Reports group-level performance (no results for individual students or schools)

  • Reports scale scores and achievement levels

  • Provides state-level and urban district-level results in several subject areas

  • Administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

  • An independent bipartisan board established by Congress in 1988 to oversee NAEP and to set policy for all aspects of NAEP:

    • Determine the assessment schedule

    • Develop assessment frameworks

    • Review and approve assessment and survey items

    • Design methodology to ensure valid and reliable assessment

    • Set achievement levels

    • Release the Nation’s Report Card

  • Developed through a comprehensive, inclusive, and deliberative process

  • Describe the content and format of a NAEP assessment

    • What to measure at each grade

    • How to measure it

    • How achievement levels are to be represented

  • Written for diverse audience of educators, policymakers, and the public

  • The NAEP Reading Assessment had not yet been informed by:

    • Recent standards, curricula, and instruction

    • Research on reading comprehension and its assessment

    • Latest perspectives on nation's future needs and desirable levels of achievement

Reading Framework Panel Representation

Visioning and Development Panels were drawn from the following stakeholder groups and organizations:

Stakeholder Groups

  • Teachers

  • State and District Directors

  • Policymakers from Educational Organizations

  • Content Specialists

  • Business Representatives

  • Researchers and Technical Experts


  • Council of the Great City Schools

  • International Literacy Association

  • Literacy Research Association

  • National Association of Elementary School Principals

  • National Association of Secondary School Principals

  • National Council of Teachers of English

  • National School Boards Association

Reading Framework Update Milestones

  • Project Kickoff​                           

    • June 21, 2019

  • Visioning Panel Meetings          

    • October 21-22, 2019​

    • December 11 and 21, 2020

    • February 22, 2021

  • Development Panel Meetings​ 

    • November 19-20, 2019

    • December 17-18, 2019

    • January 28-29, 2020

    • March 17-18, 2020

    • September 9-10, 2020

    • January 22 and February 3, 2021

    • March 31, 2021

  • Public Comment Period           

    • June 22 - July 23, 2020​

  • Final Review

    • June 2021

  • Final Framework Documents​ 

    • Submitted to Governing Board: July 2021 ​