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The NAEP Technology and Engineering (TEL) Scale

For every subject assessed, the NAEP program reports how well students of various demographic groups performed. (Note that NAEP does not report individual student scores.) For example, results are reported for male students and female students, for students of various racial or ethnic categories, and for students in schools in different regions.

How does NAEP summarize what students know and can do in order to report on the performance of students from selected demographic groups

For the first year of the TEL assessment in 2014, new scales and achievement levels for grade 8 were established based on statistical procedures called Item Response Theory (IRT). IRT is a set of statistical procedures useful in summarizing student performance across a collection of test exercises requiring similar knowledge and skills. All NAEP subject-area scales are produced using these procedures. Seven independent scales were developed for TEL overall, for each of the three content areas, and for each of the three practices—all scales range from 0–300 with a mean set at 150. 

Because the NAEP TEL scales were developed independently for each content area and practice, scale score results cannot be compared across content areas or practices. However, these reporting metrics greatly facilitate performance comparisons within each content area and practice from year to year and from one group of students to another in the same grade. 

To give meaning to the levels of the scale, it is useful to create an "item map." An item map is a representation of the skills and abilities demonstrated by students at various levels of the NAEP mathematics scale. The map indicates which kinds of questions students are likely to answer correctly at each level on the scale. Learn more about the NAEP TEL item map.

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Last updated 12 April 2019 (FW)