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How Was the NAEP Reading Assessment Developed?

The NAEP reading assessment is based on the NAEP Reading Framework (3.25K PDF) The framework provides

  • the theoretical basis for the assessment, and
  • the directions for what kinds of exercises should be included in the assessment, how those exercises should be designed, and how student responses should be scored.

The framework was the result of a comprehensive national process under the auspices of the National Assessment Governing Board. The framework is a broadly accepted outline of what hundreds of educators, curriculum experts, policymakers, and members of the general public thought the assessment should test.

After the completion of the framework, the NAEP Reading Committee worked with measurement specialists to create the assessment questions and scoring criteria according to the framework's specifications. All exercises and scoring criteria were carefully reviewed to ensure that the assessment met the requirements of the reading framework. To see how questions are scored, explore sample questions and related student performance data from the assessment.

In addition to testing cognitive abilities, NAEP collects information that helps place student achievement in context. Four kinds of questionnaires provide context for NAEP assessment results: student, teacher, school, and SD/ELL questionnaires.

These questionnaires are developed using a framework and process review similar to that used for developing the cognitive questions. This process includes reviews by external advisory groups and field testing. When developing the questionnaires, NAEP developers ensure that the questions do not infringe on respondents' privacy, that they are grounded in educational research, and that the answers can provide information relevant to the subject being assessed.

The questionnaires are either presented as separately timed blocks of questions in the assessment booklets, as with the student questionnaires, or they are printed separately, as with the teacher, school, and SD/ELL (students with disabilities or English language learner) questionnaires.

Last updated 23 October 2011 (JM)