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Assessment Process

The way the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) creates, administers, scores, and reports the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessments is complex and involves many phases and stages, many of which overlap one another. This process ensures that NAEP data meet the highest standards of measurement reliability, validity, and accuracy.

Phase 1

Develop the Assessment Framework

2 years (approximately)
Identify assessment content and objectives for measurement.
Identify assessment content and objectives for measurement.
Phase 2

Create the Assessment

2–5 years (approximately)
Assemble assessment for delivery to schools.
Assemble assessment for delivery to schools.
Phase 3

Select the Participants

13 months (approximately)
Identify a sample of schools and students that are representative of the United States and, as appropriate, specific states and urban school districts. Notify schools and the parents of students who will participate in the assessment.
Identify a sample of schools and students that are representative of the United States and, as appropriate, specific states and urban school districts. Notify schools and the parents of students who will participate in the assessment.
Phase 4

Prepare, Package, and Distribute Materials for Assessment Day

8 months (approximately)
Coordinate logistics to ensure the assessment, supporting materials, and equipment are prepared and delivered to assessment administrators.
Coordinate logistics to ensure the assessment, supporting materials, and equipment are prepared and delivered to assessment administrators.
Phase 5

Administer the Assessment

3 months (approximately)
Administer the assessment. Participation takes approximately 90–120 minutes of students' time.
Administer the assessment. Participation takes approximately 90–120 minutes of students' time.
Phase 6

Score the Assessment

4–6 months (approximately)
Score assessment answers using electronic image-processing scoring systems and trained staff.
Score assessment answers using electronic image-processing scoring systems and trained staff.
Phase 7

Analyze and Report the Results

2–6 months (approximately)
Analyze data, develop an online report, and release the results to the public.
Analyze data, develop an online report, and release the results to the public