NAEP TEL Assessment

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a continuing and nationally representative measure of trends in academic achievement of U.S. elementary and secondary students in various subjects. It is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation's students know and can do in select subjects. It was first administered in 1969 to measure student achievement nationally. Teachers, principals, parents, policymakers, and researchers all use NAEP results to assess progress and develop ways to improve education in the United States.


ITEEA member Michael Renne is a technology teacher at Mendenhall Middle School in Guilford County Schools, North Carolina and participated on a panel during the live online release of the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) results. The NAEP is often referred to as The Nation’s Report Card and provides valuable information on improving educational systems. This nationwide assessment identifies essential Technology and Engineering skills for students to continue their lifelong educational success. The TEL assesses technological and engineering literacy for the students’ ability to function in technological work by identifying a problem and being able to seek a viable solution. The assessment comes from practical everyday life and involves not only technology and engineering, but economics, mathematics, reading, writing, science, and communication.

ITEEA members and the association’s Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEEA, 2007) have been instrumental in the NAEP TEL since inception. Numerous members have been involved in the development of the initial TEL Framework in 2014 and in the 2015 standard setting panels. Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEEA, 2007) are the only K-12 standards that cover all three areas of the NAEP TEL assessment: Design and Systems, Information and Communication Technology, and Communicating and Collaborating. ITEEA has started the process to revise Standards for Technological Literacy and recently received National Science Foundation funding for a summer 2018 STL revision conference.

The NAEP TEL has been administered to national samples of eighth graders in 2014 and 2018. In both 2014 and 2018, females scored higher than makes on NAEP TEL. This aligns to one of the conclusions in ITEEA’s Learn Better by Doing Study (ITEEA, 2018) that technology and engineering activities promote female interest and participation in STEM education and occupations.

More than two thirds (68 percent) of students who took the NAEP TEL in 2018 said they had learned about or discussed designing or creating something to solve a problem “at least sometimes” in school. ITEEA’s Learn Better by Doing Study (ITEEA, 2018) indicated that secondary technology and engineering students are engaged in more hands-on activities than secondary science and mathematics students.

Visit the Nation’s Report Card website to learn more about the NAEP TEL assessment: https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/tel/. The National Center for Education Statistics also has videos, information, and the results from the 2014 and 2018 national administrations of NAEP TEL: https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/tel/.