The state mapping studies performed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) offer several important contributions to national education analyses.
First, the mapping analyses allow each state to compare the stringency of its criteria for proficiency with that of other states. Second, they inform a state whether the rigor of its standards, as represented by the NAEP scale equivalent of the state’s standard, changed over time. Significant differences in NAEP scale equivalents might reflect changes in state assessments and standards or changes in policies or practices that occurred between the years. Finally, when key aspects of a state’s assessment or standards remain the same, these mapping analyses allow NAEP to corroborate state-reported changes in student achievement.
NCES has released five mapping reports using state data for reading and mathematics at grades 4 and 8 from 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2013. The current report summarizes the results of applying a methodology for mapping state proficiency standards onto the NAEP scales by using state public school data for the 2012–13 school year and the 2013 NAEP assessments in reading and mathematics for grades 4 and 8. The report also includes analyses of the results using the 2011 NAEP and state assessment data and revised estimates for 2009. The key finding is that the variation among state achievement standards continues to be wide.
Learn more about the key findings from the 2013 analysis.