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Special NAEP Research Topics

This page provides information about resources for finding NAEP research reports, abstracts for successful grant proposals, NCES NAEP publications, and links to collections of papers that may not be easy to find elsewhere.

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funded grant abstracts

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funds research in education; over the years, many proposals using NAEP data have received awards. Through such studies, researchers have contributed to the value of NAEP data. See abstracts of these proposals beginning in 2002: Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts by typing NAEP into the Search Terms window.

Screen capture of search for winning grant proposals on IES website

Also see abstracts of awarded proposals from 1998 through 2001. Learn more about NAEP research funding on this website.

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is an online digital library of education research and information sponsored by the IES of the U.S. Department of Education. ERIC includes an extensive database of NAEP research publications, including journal article abstracts.

Screen capture of basic search form on ERIC

Use the ERIC Basic Search or Advanced Search, using several keywords; an initial search might be:
NAEP or “national assessment of educational progress” or “nation’s report card” or “assessment governing board”

Of course, you can search by various fields, such as author and title. You can narrow the search using Search Within Results. When you find satisfactory search terms, use Save This Search to preserve the parameters for future use in My Eric. The ERIC website provides extensive Help, including many quick tutorials.


NCES catalog of NAEP reports

The NCES publications catalog provides quick access to all NAEP reports published by NCES. Here, three categories will be of particular interest to researchers:

  • Technical/Methodological Reports provide an in-depth analysis of analytic methods, survey design, survey procedures, or data quality issues.
  • Technical Working Papers provide preliminary analysis of technical and methodological issues, and are works in progress, used to present and promote the sharing of valuable experience and knowledge.
  • Data Products provides a listing of all restricted-use data available to licensed researchers.
    All of the NCES NAEP publications should also be in the ERIC database, with the possible exception of those in the Brochures category.


Special collections of NAEP papers and reports

The organizations listed below have produced NAEP publications that are listed here for quick reference, or because they may be difficult to locate in other resources.


NAEP Validity Studies (NVS)

The NAEP Validity Studies reports are written by members of the NVS Panel. These studies are conducted as needed to identify and develop technically sound techniques for use in NAEP assessments. The Panel, whose membership includes nationally recognized psychometricians and experts in NAEP subject areas, advises NCES on the research agenda for maintaining and developing the high technical quality of NAEP assessments. Through discussions between the Panel and NCES, a rich assortment of topics has emerged.

Since 1997, papers have been published on the research conducted by NVS Panel members; all are listed below. Papers from 2004 up to the present are in the NVS Panel library on another website. Click any title below to be taken to the abstract, where you can link to the complete paper. Papers earlier than 2004 are on the NCES website. For more information on the papers or the NVS, contact Janis Brown, (202) 502-7482.

Setting Performance Standards for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) (2012)

Examining NAEP Achievement in Relation to School Testing Conditions in the 2010 Assessments (2012)

Validity Issues Involved in Cross-Grade Statements About NAEP Results (2012)

NAEP Trends: Main NAEP vs. Long-Term Trend (2010)

Guiding Principles and Suggested Studies for Determining When the Introduction of a New Assessment Framework Necessitates a Break in Trend in NAEP (2009)

Sensitivity of NAEP to the Effects of Reform-Based Teaching and Learning in Middle School Mathematics (2009)

Utility and Validity of NAEP Linking Efforts (2009)

Partitioning NAEP Trend Data (2007)

Validity Study of the NAEP Mathematics Assessment: Grades 4 and 8 (2007)

Estimating Effects of Non-Participation on State NAEP Scores Using Empirical Methods (2007)

State Implementation of NCLB Policies and Interpretation of the NAEP Performance of English Language Learners (2006)

Using State Assessments to Assign Booklets to NAEP Students to Minimize Measurement Error: An Empirical Study in Four States (2005)

Using State Assessments to Impute Achievement of Students Absent from NAEP: An Empirical Study in Four States (2005)

Assigning Adaptive NAEP Booklets Based on State Assessment Scores: A Simulation Study of the Impact on Standard Errors (2004)

Federal Sample Sizes for Confirmation of State Tests in the No Child Left Behind Act (2004)

Evaluation of Bias Correction Methods for “Worst-case” Selective Non-participation in NAEP (2004)

The Effects of Finite Sampling on State Assessment Sample Requirements (2003)

Computer Use and Its Relation to Academic Achievement in Mathematics, Reading, and Writing (2003)

A Study of Equating in NAEP (2003)

An Investigation of Why Students Do Not Respond to Questions (2003)

Optimizing State NAEP: Issues and Possible Improvements (2003)

Improving the Information Value of Performance Items in Large Scale Assessments (2003)

Reporting the Results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (2003)

Implications of Electronic Technology for the NAEP Assessment (2003)

Feasibility Studies of Two-Stage Testing in Large-Scale Educational Assessment: Implications for NAEP (2003)

An Agenda for NAEP Validity Research (2003)

The Validity of Oral Accommodation in Testing (2003)

National Assessment Governing Board

The Governing Board is an independent, bipartisan group whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as the "The Nation's Report Card." There are many research and historical papers available in the section Reports and Papers on their website under the header, Publications. See also the sections on Achievement Level Reports and Frameworks and Specifications

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National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS)

NISS has published several technical reports on NAEP:

NISS/NESSI Task Force on Full Population Estimates for NAEP - Revised July 22, 2009 PDF File (90KB)

Exploring Statistical Adjustment of Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (1999) PDF File (448KB)

Accounting for Missing Data in Educational Surveys: A Workshop Report (1999) PDF File (1.89MB)

Perspectives on Statistics for Educational Research: Proceedings of a Workshop (1995) PDF File (4.13MB) 

Projecting to the NAEP Scale: Results from the North Carolina End-of-Grade Testing Program (1995) PDF File (1.96MB)

Controlling Error in Multiple Comparisons, with Special Attention to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (1994) PDF File (3.67MB)

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Other research reports

NAEP data are often used in other reports, such as those below.

SD/LEP Inclusions/Exclusions in NAEP: An Investigation of Factors Affecting SD/LEP Inclusions/Exclusions in NAEP. Final Report PDF File (361KB) (2007)

Decision-Making Practices of Urban Districts for Including and Accommodating English Language Learners in NAEP—School-Based Perspectives (2007) PDF File (620KB)

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) produced Alignment and the States: Three Approaches to Aligning the National Assessment of Educational Progress with State Assessments, Other Assessments, and Standards in 2009.

The Buros Institute produced an overview of NAEP research papers PDF File (221KB) in 2005. This was in preparation for an evaluation of NAEP completed in 2009.

NAEP research about inclusion is available in the section on Inclusion of Special-Needs Students.

The National Indian Education Study section lists many IES papers describing the education of American Indian/Alaskan Native students.

See the technical documentation references for more NAEP research.

Several NAEP research reports are available on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website; search for NAEP.

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Last updated 18 April 2013 (MS)