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Assessment Frameworks

Each National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment is based on an organizing framework. The framework is the blueprint that guides the development of the assessment and the content to be assessed. The National Assessment Governing Board develops the NAEP frameworks for assessments in each subject.

Frameworks define the subject-specific content and thinking skills needed by students to deal with the complex issues they encounter in and out of the classroom. The NAEP frameworks are devised through a development process that ensures they meet current educational requirements. Assessments must be flexible and mirror changes in educational objectives, curricula, and standards of student achievement. Therefore, the frameworks must be both forward-looking and responsive, balancing current teaching practices with research findings.

Read an overview or download a framework for each subject. In addition to testing cognitive abilities, NAEP collects non-cognitive information that helps put student achievement in context. Three types of questionnaires provide context for NAEP assessment results: student, teacher, and school. Additional information is collected on worksheets for students with disabilities (SD) and/or English learners (EL). The content of these questionnaires is also defined in the NAEP assessment frameworks. Frameworks are available for viewing or download in HTML or PDF files from the National Assessment Governing Board website.

How to Use NAEP Frameworks

Learn how NAEP frameworks serve as guides for planning K-12 education assessments, provide information on skills appropriate for students in grades 4, 8, and 12, and measure these skills in innovative ways.

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How Are Frameworks and Assessment Questions Created?

Framework and Test Specifications The Governing Board is responsible for developing the framework and test specifications that serve as the blueprint for the assessment. The frameworks are devised through a development process that ensures they meet current educational requirements.
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NAEP gold star.
Developing Assessment Questions Using the frameworks, NCES develops NAEP assessment questions (or items) collaboratively. The assessment questions are then reviewed by educators, parents, and experts for feedback and revision.

Last updated 09 May 2023 (MB)