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NAEP Analysis and Scaling → Estimation of NAEP Scale Scores → NAEP Scales → Definition of Composite Scales

Definition of Composite Scales

When there are several content-related subscales defined for a subject area1, the subscales are combined into a composite scale used to describe the overall attainment of students in that subject area. The weight of each subscale in the composite reflects the relative importance of the scale as specified in the framework developed by the National Assessment Governing Board. The weights are approximately proportional to the number of items in each scale at a given grade level.

Weighting of the content-dimension scales to create the economics composite scale, by grade: 2006
Content dimension Multiplier for each content-dimension scale
Grade 12
Market economics .45
National economics .40
International economics .15
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2006 Economics Assessment.

Weighting of the content-dimension scales to create the geography composite scale, by grade: 2001
Content dimension Multiplier for each content-dimension scale
Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12
Space and place .40 .40 .40
Environment and society .30 .30 .30
Spatial dynamics and connections .30 .30 .30
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2001 Geography Assessment.

Weighting of the content-strand scales to create the mathematics composite scale, by grade: 2000
Content strand Multiplier for each content-dimension scale
Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12
Number sense, properties, and operations .40 .25 .20
Measurement .20 .15 .15
Geometry and spatial sense .15 .20 .20
Data analysis, statistics, and probability .10 .15 .20
Algebra and functions .15 .25 .25
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2000 Mathematics Assessment.

Weighting of the purpose-for-reading scales to create the reading composite scale, by grade: 2000
Purpose for reading Multiplier for each content-dimension scale
Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12
Reading for literary experience .55 .40 .35
Reading for information .45 .40 .45
Reading to perform a task .20 .20
† Not applicable; according to the NAEP reading framework, the Reading to Perform a Task scale is never assessed at grade 4 in NAEP.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2000 Reading Assessment.

Weighting of the field-of-science scales to create the science composite scale, by grade: 2000
Field of science Multiplier for each content-dimension scale
Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12
Earth science .33 .30 .33
Physical science .33 .30 .33
Life science .33 .40 .33
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2000 Science Assessment.

Weighting of the historical-themes scales to create the U.S. history composite scale, by grade: 2001
U.S. history themes Multiplier for each content-dimension scale
Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12
Change and continuity in American democracy .25 .30 .25
The gathering of interactions of peoples, cultures, and ideas .35 .30 .25
Economic and technological changes .25 .20 .25
The changing role of America in the world .15 .20 .25
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2001 U.S. History Assessment.

1 The NAEP civics assessment, writing assessment, and all long-term trend assessments use a single scale at each grade level.


Last updated 23 June 2010 (GF)

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