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NAEP Instruments → Cognitive Items and Instruments → Development of the Long-Term Trend Cognitive Items and Instruments

Development of the Long-Term Trend Cognitive Items and Instruments

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The NAEP long-term trend assessment was developed to provide data for evaluating student progress over long periods of time. It has been used to monitor trend lines first established in 1971 for reading and in 1973 for mathematics, and reports results for students at ages 9, 13, and 17. Learn about the differences between the long-term trend assessment and the national and state NAEP assessments.

In 2004, a number of changes were implemented to revitalize the long-term trend assessments. The changes implemented in 2004 were intended to reflect changes in NAEP policy, maintain the integrity of the long-term trend assessments, and increase the validity of the results obtained.

Changes to the assessment instruments included

  • removal of science and writing questions,
  • inclusion of students with disabilities and English language learners,
  • replacement of items that used outdated contexts,
  • creation of a separate student background questionnaire (439K PDF),
  • elimination of "I don't know" as a response option for multiple-choice items, and
  • use of assessment booklets that pertain to a single subject area (whereas in the past, a single assessment booklet may have contained both reading and mathematics questions).

Because it was important to know that any changes in assessment results could be attributed to actual changes in student performance rather than to changes in the assessment design, a special bridge study was conducted to ensure that results under the new design were comparable to results under the earlier design and could continue to be reported on the same trend line.

Explore sample items and related student performance data from the national and state NAEP and long-term trend assessments.

Last updated 02 June 2014 (GF)