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NAEP: National Assessment of Educational Process

Investigative Task Presentation by Michael Heneghan, Chelsea LeBeau, and Erin Lee. P507 Summer 2013.

Chelsea LeBeau

on 25 July 2013

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Transcript of NAEP: National Assessment of Educational Process

Who Creates the Test?
This project is overseen by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which is responsible for creating the framework and assessments for the NAEP. The Commissioner of Education Statistics, who heads the NCES, implements the NAEP project, along with assistance from testing contractors.
The Board
There has been a deliberate attempt to make the board a nonpartisan group composed of all stakeholders in the education of our nation's children. The board is made up of:
--Two governors/former governors, from different
political parties.
--Two state legislators, from different political parties.
--Two chief state school officers.
--One superintendent of a local educational agency.
--One member of a state board of education.
--One member of a local board of education.
--Three classroom teachers from the assessed grades.
--One representative of business or industry.
--Two curriculum specialists.
--Three testing and measurement experts.
--One nonpublic school administrator or policymaker.
--One elementary school and one high school principal.
--Two parents.
--Two additional members who are representatives of the general public.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress:
Exploring the Nation's Report Card

Michael Heneghan
Chelsea LeBeau
Erin Lee

NAEP is...
According to The Nation's Report Card (the nickname for the results of this test) website, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) "is a congressionally authorized assessment from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. It began in 1969 as a nationwide test of what students know in reading, math, and science."

It is a mixture of multiple choice and free response questions.

The purpose of the NAEP is to inform the public about elementary and secondary school achievement. The NAEP reports scores from a variety of groups, including individual states, state to state comparisons, and how the different demographics perform within the states and the nation as a whole.
Impact on Students
The Pros:
Most students in the country do not take this exam, so no instructional time is lost in preparing for or taking it.

No individual scores are reported, so this one test does not end up being a high stakes ticket or roadblock to graduation, like the ISTEP exam is in Indiana.
Supporting Culturally Diverse Learners
The Governing Board of the NAEP understands that for their test to be reliable and valid, their assessment needs be as free of bias as they can possibly make it. With that in mind, the NAGB “shall take steps to ensure that all items selected for use in NAEP are free from racial, cultural, gender, or regional bias and are secular, neutral, and non-ideological," (National Assessment Governing Board [NAGB], 2002, p. 2). In service to that end, the NAGB has created a review process that “includes the active participation of teachers, curriculum specialists, local school administrators, parents, and concerned members of the public,"(NAGB, 2002, p. 2).

Supporting Linguistically Diverse Learners
If needed, the math and science sections of the NAEP are offered in Spanish. Tests are not available in other languages.

Students may also have access to bilingual dictionaries in whichever language they need.

For the most part, whatever language accommodations a student may receive as stipulated on their Individualized Language Plan, they may receive on the NAEP. See a notable exception below.
Supporting Readers at All Levels
Students who receive special education services and accommodations on state testing, per their IEP, are offered those same accommodations on the NAEP. These accommodations may include extra time, one-on-one or small group testing, reading questions/ potential answers aloud to the student, and scribing answers while the student dictates.

Some accommodations are not allowed on the NAEP. For example, students may not have passages from the test read aloud to them. If a student needs that accommodation, then students may be excused from the test.
More Thoughts
on NAEP:
NAEP Today
Since its start in 1969, the NAEP has added history, geography, writing, art, and civics, with plans to add technology and engineering literacy beginning in 2014.

Grades four, eight, and twelve are assessed. Schools and students are selected "randomly", although students are selected based on the demographics of the state, so that the small sample gives an accurate representation of the population makeup of the state. Those selections are kept confidential and student participation is voluntary.

Impact on Teachers
Impact on Students
The Cons:
No individual student scores are reported, so this potentially helpful information about student strengths and weaknesses is unavailable.
Impact on Teachers
The Pros:
Since most students do not take the NAEP, most teachers do not have to spend valuable instructional time preparing and administering this test.

There is no pressure on teachers to get high scores on this one test. Teacher evaluations and job security are not tied to the results.

The Nation’s Report Card website does have an educator section which allows you to create your own tests, potentially to use this national yardstick to gauge how your own students are doing in comparison.

The Cons:
Because individual and school level scores are not reported, teachers miss out on a potentially valuable instructional planning tool for what the strengths/weaknesses are for their students in a far wider array of subject areas than the ISTEP provides.

Impact on Administration
The Pros:
Just like with students and teachers, most administrators do not have to devote their school’s instructional time to the prepping/administering of the test.

Unlike with ISTEP, their schools are not being held accountable for these scores, so potential takeover of school or loss of job is not on the table with the NAEP.

Impact on Administration
The Cons:
No results are released at the individual school or even district level, so administrators have no real data to work with when it comes to their own students or schools.

Federal funding is tied to each state participating in the fourth and eighth grade NAEP test, per NCLB; however, your results, good or bad, on the test itself do not have any bearing on funding: it is based solely on participation.

Each student only takes a part of the NAEP test, never all of it.
The focus of the NAEP results are state, regional, and national, and therefore would be most important to people like Glenda Ritz (Indiana State Secretary of Education), Mike Pence (Governor), Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education) and President Obama.
To use fourth grade reading results from 2011 as an example, Indiana's test results have not changed in a statistically relevant way since 1992, and they fall right around the middle of the pack for the nation: 33% at proficient or advanced level; 32% below basic.
More Pros:
Teachers have access to a high quality, vetted, long-standing, national framework and testing results.

Teachers can use the state/national data to see where strengths and weaknesses lie, at the macro level. In concert with ISTEP results here in Indiana, they could see how their students compare with their state/national peers.

More Pros:
Since individual student scores are not reported, the NAEP does not potentially lower self esteem for students with lower scores, or get them tracked into test prep or remedial courses, which also have the potential for keeping them from higher order lessons or classes.
NAEP and
The Common Core
The NAEP is a national test, based on a set of national frameworks, so it occurred to us what relationship it might have, if any, to the Common Core. Is there any relationship? According to the NAGB (2002),

The groups that prepared the Common Core state standards and are developing the Common Core tests have drawn many of their approaches and ideas from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Many of the same people have been involved in both programs, including several members of the National Assessment Governing Board. Cooperation is ongoing, but there are no plans for NAEP and the Common Core to become wholly similar or matched. The Governing Board believes strongly that NAEP should continue to play an important role as an independent measure of student achievement under whatever education policies [or reforms] that states adopt.
NAEP and other
International Assessments
Although NAEP is only taken by students
in the U.S., its math, science and reading
scores are now coordinated with three other international assessments, including:
Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)
Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
(2002). National Assessment Governing Board: Item Development and Review Policy

Statement. National Assessment Governing Board.

NAEP About - International Assessments and NAEP. (2012, September 17). Retrieved

from National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/


National Assessment of Educational Process (NAEP). (2013). Retrieved from Indiana

Department of Education: http://www.doe.in.gov/achievement/assessment/


Policies / NAGB. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Assessment Governing Board: http://

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