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Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: Results From the 2015 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments

May 31, 2018

Author:Bandeira de Mello, V., Rahman, T., and Park, B.J. (2018)

Download the complete report in a PDF file for viewing and printing. PDF File (475KB)

Executive Summary


During the past 15 years, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has published reports in which the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is used for comparing the proficiency standards that students have to meet in each state. This sixth report highlights results of mapping state proficiency standards onto the NAEP scales using state assessment results for public schools from the 2014–15 school year and the 2015 NAEP assessments. The report focuses on the reading and mathematics standards that states set for grades 4 and 8 for federal reporting under the 2001 and 2015 reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. By placing standards onto the NAEP scales, a common metric to all states, it is possible to compare the standards that students are expected to meet in each state.

The report draws special attention to the changes in state assessment practices to measure student achievement using the college and career readiness standards adopted by the majority of states. For each state, the report displays the NAEP equivalent score, which is the placement of state standards for proficient performance in reading and mathematics onto the 0–500 NAEP scale. In addition, the NAEP equivalent scores are shown with respect to the NAEP achievement levels: below Basic, Basic, and Proficient levels.

Some states participated in one of three testing programs: ACT Aspire, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (hereinafter referred to, respectively, as ACT, PARCC, and SBAC). For those states, NAEP equivalent scores were estimated in two ways. First, the scores were estimated for the testing program as a whole by considering the participating states as one single jurisdiction. The figures in the main report show these estimates. Second, the NAEP equivalent scores were estimated for each state individually. Tables in the Technical Notes present these estimates.

Overall, in 2015 the ranges between the highest and lowest NAEP equivalent scores of the state standard for proficient performance were smaller than in 2013. Most state standards in both grades and subjects mapped at the NAEP Basic level. It should be noted that the 2015 mapping study did not include all states for various reasons. A brief explanation for exclusion is provided in the Technical Notes.

Reading Grade 4​
Grade 8​
Proficient
​2
​2
​Basic
​41
​41
​Below Basic
​4
​1
​Total
​47
​44


Mathematics
Grade 4​
Grade 8​
Proficient
​12
9
​Basic
35
24
​Below Basic
0
0
​Total
​47
33

Suggested Citation
Bandeira de Mello, V., Rahman, T., and Park, B.J. (2018). Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: Results From the 2015 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments (NCES 2018-159). U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.




Last updated 30 May 2018 (DS)