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Educator Update

View the video, Introducing NAEP to Teachers, to find out more about NAEP and why it's important to educators.

Introducing NAEP to Teachers

Find out what's being assessed in 2013!

On January 28 through March 8, 2013, NAEP is conducting assessments in mathematics and reading at grades 4, 8, and 12. At grade 8, there will be a pilot of the technology and engineering literacy (TEL) assessment. Click here for more information and resources for the TEL assessment, including an overview video, video tutorial, and the framework.

There will also be a few special studies involving small numbers of schools.

  • Private school information including quick access to results.

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    NAEP in the news: NAEP mapping and the Common Core State Standards Initiative

    In June 2010, the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) launched the Common Core State Standards Initiative to provide learning objectives in English Language Arts and Mathematics for students in grades K-12. Common standards will help ensure that students are receiving a high quality education consistently, from school to school and state to state. Visit the Common Core State Standards Initiative website to read more and to see that most states and territories have now adopted the standards.

    At present, states develop their own standards for student proficiency and administer annual assessments to measure this; of course, these standards and assessments differ from state to state, and so the results from state assessments are not comparable among states.

    Since 2003, the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) has been administered in mathematics and reading in all states, using identical procedures across the nation. Because of this uniformity, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) studies can compare state standards for proficient performance in reading and mathematics by placing each state’s standards onto the NAEP scales. This procedure, called "mapping," allows the level of achievement required for proficient performance in one state to be compared with the level of achievement required in another state. The mapping procedure offers a way to assess the relative rigor of the states’ performance standards in mathematics and reading.

    The most recent report in the series Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales was released in 2011. This and earlier studies show that there is wide variation in where states set the bar for student achievement and how they define "proficient academic achievement."

    Thank you, NAEP 2013 participants!

    Thank you to all schools that are participating in NAEP 2013 and helping to make it a success. Learn more about the subjects assessed in 2013: computer-based writing at grade 4 economics at grade 12; and the long-term trend assessment, administered to 9, 13, and 17-year olds.

    Look for the results of these assessments in 2013.

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    NAEP-TIMSS linking study

    The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) provides reliable and timely data on the mathematics and science achievements of U.S. students at grades 4 and 8 compared to that of students in other countries. In 2011, NCES conducted a special research and development study to link the mathematics and science results of NAEP and TIMSS to provide comparisons between states and over 60 participating countries. NAEP and TIMSS both administered assessments in grade 8 in 2011 that will enable the link between the two assessments to occur. See more in the brochure, NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study (901K PDF).

    The international linking study results are planned for release in 2013. States will receive both mathematics and science projected TIMSS scores at this time, and selected urban districts will receive projected mathematics scores. Read more about the linking study on the TIMSS website.

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    Using NAEP questions in your classroom 

    With the publication of NAEP results, select items from each assessment are released. You can access the items, answer keys and scoring guides, sample student responses, and national performance results for students at all three grades by using the NAEP Questions Tool (NQT). Take a look at the short video demonstrating its features. The Questions Tool includes both multiple-choice and constructed-response items for all NAEP subjects and grades, which you can use to create unique activities for your class. There are over 3,000 questions covering all NAEP subjects. Also, your students may enjoy using Test Yourself, with which they can test their knowledge on a small set of questions on any subject, and compare their performance with that of the nation's students.

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    A typical NAEP testing session

    Every year, NAEP assessments are given in multiple subjects in the same classroom. The diagram below shows a typical classroom, with the teacher’s desk at the top and 30 student desks. The diagram shows the distribution of the test booklets during an assessment covering three subjects--other assessments use similar distributions of the test booklets.

    Graphic showing distribution pattern for booklets so that students being assessed in the same subject are never adjacent.

    Note that students sitting next to each other do not take the same subject. In addition to this safeguard, there are many different versions of the booklets for each assessment--each version will have a different arrangement of the cognitive questions, which have been placed in sets of questions called blocks. This arrangement in blocks is needed because there are many more questions covering the subject than a student could be expected to finish in the time allotted, and because individual student scores are not reported, each student will answer only a small portion of the questions for a subject. The blocks are positioned differently in the several versions of the booklets so that each block is paired with each of the other blocks in the pool for measurement accuracy. This ensures both test security and that there are sufficient numbers of responses to each item.

    Find more information about NAEP administration in the NAEP Frequently Asked Questions.

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    How do I find...?

    Topic Online Resource
    More about NAEP results? Visit The Nation's Report Card website.
    The latest news about NAEP? Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or check out the NAEP YouTube channel!
    Contact information for my NAEP State Coordinator? Check the NAEP State Profiles tool for your State Coordinator's contact information.
    Specific results for a grade level, subject, jurisdiction, and/or student groups? Use the NAEP Data Explorer to search through NAEP results across all variables, subjects, and years.
    Examples of questions asked on NAEP assessments? Explore the NAEP Questions Tool for questions from all NAEP subjects, student responses, and scorer comments.
    Information about the types of questions and cognitive tasks associated with the different levels of proficiency? Visit the NAEP Item Maps to see the NAEP questions associated with Basic, Proficient, and Advanced performance for each subject and grade.
    Sample test questions for the upcoming and previous assessments? Download a Sample Questions Booklet for the year and grade of your choice.
    More information for educators about NAEP? Read the FAQs for Educators.
    A place to submit questions, comments, or suggestions about NAEP? Use the Contact NAEP mailbox to send feedback or questions about NAEP.

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Last updated 22 January 2013 (AA)
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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education