Skip Navigation

​​​​​​History of Framework Changes

The mathematics framework was changed in

  • 2009,
  • 2005, and
  • 1990.

2009 Framework Changes

The 2009 mathematics framework for grades 4 and 8 is similar to earlier frameworks that guided previous mathematics assessments, while the grade 12 framework underwent some updates. It added objectives addressing mathematics content beyond what is usually taught in a standard 3-year mathematics course in high school. These changes help NAEP report how well prepared twelfth-grade students are for post-secondary education and training.

The challenge for the 2009 assessment was to find the core mathematics knowledge and skills that would form the foundation for these post-secondary paths. These should include use of quantitative tools, broad competence in mathematical reasoning, foundational knowledge required for post-secondary courses, and the ability to integrate and apply mathematics in diverse problem-solving contexts. Analysis of the 2005 framework revealed that some revisions would be necessary to meet this challenge.

Below is a summary of the changes to the framework:

Mathematics Content

  • Objectives for grades 4 and 8 remain the same
  • New topic of "mathematical" reasoning added at grades, 4, 8, and 12
  • New objectives for grade 12 introduced

Mathematical Complexity

  • New clarifications and new examples to describe the levels of mathematical complexity added to framework

A 2009 mathematics trend study was conducted at grade 12 to compare results based on the 2009 and 2005 mathematics assessment instruments. Trend studies, also known as “bridge studies”, have been used by NAEP previously to evaluate how changes to the assessment impact score comparisons.

2005 Framework Changes

The 2005 changes to the mathematics framework for grades 4 and 8 were minimal. As a result, NAEP could continue reporting results from previous assessments dating from 1990.

The 2005 framework changed the cognitive dimension used to classify mathematics items for grades 4 and 8. This involved replacing the dimensions of mathematical ability and power (which require ​making​ inferences about the student responding to the item) with the dimension of mathematical complexity (which describes the mathematical knowledge expectations with respect to an item).

Achievement levels, content areas, overall item types (multiple choice, short-constructed response, and extended-constructed response), the use of manipulatives, and the calculator policy did not change for grades 4 and 8 in 2005.

The 2005 mathematics framework for grade 12 also introduced changes from the previous framework. This was done to reflect adjustments in curricular emphasis and to ensure an appropriate balance of content. Consequently, the twelfth-grade mathematics results in 2005 and subsequent years cannot be compared to previous assessments. However, some questions from the 2000 assessment fit the requirements in the new framework and were reused in 2005. A special analysis was performed by the Human Resources Research Organization to see how performance results on this subset of items differed. To download a copy of this analysis, visit the Human Resources Research Organization website.

Changes to the grade 12 NAEP mathematics assessment in 2005

 2005 Mathematics assessmentPrevious Mathematics assessment
Content areasFour content areas with measurement and geometry are ​combined because the majority of twelfth-grade measurement topics are geometric in natureFive content areas
Distribution of questions across content areas  
     Number properties and operations10%20%
     Measurement and geometry30%15% and 20%
     Data analysis and probability25%20%
Reporting scale0-300 single-grade scale0-500 cross-grade scale
CalculatorsStudents given the option to bring their own graphing or scientific calculatorStudents provided with standard model scientific calculator

1990-2003 Framework

The 1990–2003 NAEP Mathematics Framework was used to develop the 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2003 assessments. Like all NAEP assessment frameworks, it was developed by the National Assessment Governing Board. The 1990–2003 NAEP mathematics framework was influenced by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics.

Learn more about the 1990-2003 framework and the 1990-2003 mathematics achievement levels​.

Last updated 01 June 2016 (DS)