The sample design for the 2002 NAEP assessment in reading and writing was designed to achieve a nationally representative sample of public and private school students in fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades. The sample was designed only to cover the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.1 Note that Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) are part of the national frame (as they are located in the 50 states and District of Columbia.) The target population for the 2002 national main assessment included all students in public and private schools who were enrolled in fourth, eighth, or twelfth grades at the time of assessment.
The 2002 assessment was the first assessment in which the sample design integrated the state assessment sample into the national main sample directly, rather than drawing a separate sample of schools and students for the two surveys. For fourth and eighth grades, the base public school samples were the state public school samples for each jurisdiction; likewise, the state student samples and assessment became the national main student samples and assessment.
A representative sample of public school students was drawn in each participating jurisdiction in the NAEP 2002 state assessment. Each sample was designed to produce aggregate estimates as well as estimates for various subpopulations of interest with approximately equal precision for all the participating jurisdictions.
The state samples only covered fourth- and eighth-grade public schools. For the national main assessment, there was a need to supplement the state samples with a nationally representative private school sample for fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades, and a nationally representative public school sample for twelfth grade (for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.)
In addition to the national main and state assessments, NAEP conducted a field test and linking study in 2002. The field tests assessed the subject areas of reading and mathematics, and were carried out in fourth and eighth grades. In NAEP data files and analyses, researchers working on the project delineate the operational (main and state) assessments at the "A" assessments, and these field tests as the "B" assessments. There are two sets of linking tests: one that links to the 1998 NAEP reading assessment, and a second that links to the 2000 NAEP mathematics assessment. The link to the 1998 NAEP reading assessment ("C") was carried out in the fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades. The link to the 2000 NAEP mathematics assessment ("D") was carried out only in fourth and eighth grades.