Office of Assessment
Office of Assessment
|Text Index||Custom Search|
2011-2012 NAEP Long-Term Trend Assessments
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
OverviewThe NAEP long-term trend (LTT) assessment was developed to measure changes in the basic achievement of America's youth. It monitors trend lines that were first established in the school year ending in 1974; over the past three decades, results have been reported for students at ages 9, 13, and 17 in mathematics, reading, and science, and in grades 4, 8, and 11 in writing.
Between 1971 and 2011, the following changes to the assessment instruments occurred:
- removal of science and writing items
- inclusion of students with disabilities and English language learners
- replacement of items that used outdated contexts
- elimination of "I don't know" as a response option for multiple-choice items
- use of assessment booklets that pertain to a single subject area
In order to verify that assessment results can be attributed to actual changes in student performance rather than to the above modifications to the assessment, a special bridge study was conducted in 2004 to evaluate the impact of the modified assessment design and administration procedures on assessment results.
NAEP LTT Mathematics AssessmentThe NAEP LTT mathematics assessment is designed to measure the following among students tested:
- knowledge of basic facts
- ability to carry out numerical algorithms using paper and pencil
- knowledge of basic measurement formulas as they are applied in geometric settings
- ability to apply mathematics to daily-living skills (such as those related to time and money)
The assessment has a computational focus and contains a range of multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. (For more information about item types, see the NAEP Glossary of Terms.) It covers the following topics:
- numbers and numeration
- shape, size, and position
- probability and statistics
- variables and relationships
NAEP LTT has assessed mathematics achievement of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students 11 times: in the school years ending in 1973, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004, and 2008. The next LTT occurs in the school year ending in 2012. The mathematics long-term trend assessments contain questions designed to measure performance on sets of objectives developed by nationally representative panels of mathematics specialists, educators, and other interested parties.
NAEP LTT Reading AssessmentThe NAEP LTT reading assessment was designed to measure students’ ability to do the following:
- locate specific information
- make inferences based on information in two or more parts of a passage
- identify the main idea in a passage
The assessment requires students to answer questions based on a variety of age-appropriate reading selections, including literary texts, informational passages from text books, and other documents. Students' comprehension of material is assessed by multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. (For more information about item types, see the NAEP Glossary of Terms.)
NAEP LTT has assessed reading achievement of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students 12 times: in the school years ending in 1971, 1975, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004, and 2008. The next LTT occurs in the school year ending in 2012. The set of reading passages and questions included in the LTT, which has remained essentially the same since 1984, reflects the assessment objectives developed by nationally representative panels of reading specialists, educators, and other interested parties.
Explore the demonstration booklet (PDF) for the reading and mathematics LTT assessment. The booklet may be provided to participating schools so that teachers, parents, and students may become familiar with the types of questions on the assessment.
For further information:
- Explore types of LTT questions in the NAEP Questions Tool.
- Read about the LTT mathematics and reading scales.
Differences Between LTT NAEP and Main NAEPThe two national assessment programs—LTT NAEP and main NAEP—make it possible to meet two important objectives: 1) measure student progress over time, and 2) as educational priorities change, develop new assessment instruments that reflect current educational content and assessment methodology.
Although LTT and main NAEP both assess mathematics and reading, there are four main differences—the content assessed, the students selected (sampled), how often the assessment is administered, and the results reported. While these differences mean that results from LTT and main NAEP cannot be compared directly, comparisons of the patterns over time, especially among student demographic groups, may be informative, as long as content differences between the assessments is taken into account.
The table below identifies key features of and differences between the LTT and main NAEP assessments.
Long-Term Trend Assessment
FrequencyMeasures student performance in mathematics and reading every four years. Last reported for 2008; will be reported next for 2012.
Content AssessedHas remained relatively unchanged since first administration (1971 for reading, 1973 for mathematics), although some changes were initiated in 2004.
LTT Reading features shorter passages, and focuses on locating specific information, making inferences, and identifying the main idea of a passage. Students respond to questions in multiple-choice format; there are also a few questions requiring an extended answer (usually scored on a five-point scale).
LTT Mathematics focuses on numbers and numeration; variables and relationships; shape, size, and position; measurement; and probability and statistics. Assesses basic skills and recall of definitions. Students respond to questions in multiple-choice format; there are also a few short answer questions (scored on a two-point scale). Students are not required to show or explain their work.