Approximately 122,000 eighth-grade students in 7,290 schools participated in the 2011 NAEP science assessment.
State participation in the NAEP science assessment is voluntary and while most states participated in the 2009 assessment, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools elected to participate in 2011. The schools and students participating in NAEP assessments are selected to be representative of all schools nationally and of public schools at the state level. Samples of schools and students are drawn from participating states and from the District of Columbia and Department of Defense schools.
The NAEP program does not, and is not designed to, report on the performance of individual students. Instead, groups of the student population from representative national samples are assessed. For example, NAEP reports results for male and female students, Black students and White students, and students in different regions of the country. Samples are selected using a complex sampling design.
For the 2011 science assessment, accommodations for students with disabilities (SD) and English language learners (ELL) were permitted for the entire sample of students. This differs from the 1996 and 2000 science assessments, in which data were collected from samples of students where assessment accommodations were not permitted and from samples of students where accommodations were permitted. In 2011, 2009 and 2005, accommodations were offered when a student had an Individualized Education Program (IEP) indicating the need for accommodation because of a disability, was protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 because of disability, was identified as being an English language learner, and/or was normally offered accommodations in other assessment situations. All other students were asked to participate in the assessment under standard conditions. Prior to 1996, testing accommodations (e.g., extended time, small-group testing) were not permitted for students with disabilities and English language learners selected to participate in the NAEP science assessments.
See additional information about the percentages of students with disabilities and English language learners identified, excluded, and assessed at the national and state level.
See the types of accommodations permitted for students with disabilities and English language learners.