In order to determine how our students are doing in a variety of school subjects across the U.S and in comparison with students from other nations, educational assessments are administered every year. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. The NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education. They develop national and state reports on educational progress.
The NCES performed a national computer-based writing assessment, administered to students in grades 8 and 12 throughout the United States, in 2011. Here are the writing assessment results. They also performed a reading assessment in 2011, and in the winter of 2013, the NCES will administer a reading assessment to student in grades 4, 8, and 12. You can learn more about the 2011 reading assessment results and check out the schedule and methodology for the 2013 assessments.