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Assessment Frameworks

Assessment Frameworks image. Blueprint, design tools.

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 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 and curricula. Therefore, the frameworks must be both forward-looking and responsive, balancing current teaching practices with research findings.

How to Use NAEP Frameworks

Learn how NAEP frameworks serve as guides for planning 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 Frameworks are Developed

Developing a framework typically involves the following steps:

  • participation and reviews by educators and state education officials;
  • reviews by steering committees whose members represent policymakers, practitioners, and members of the general public;
  • involvement of subject supervisors from education agencies;
  • public hearings; and
  • reviews by scholars in the field, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) staff, and a policy advisory panel. 

Frameworks and Developing NAEP Assessment Questions

Using the frameworks, NAEP assessment questions (or items) are collaboratively developed and then reviewed by educators, parents, and experts for feedback and revision.

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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 language learners (ELL). 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, up to 3 MB in size.

Last updated 11 March 2018 (AA)