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Assessment and School Performance

All · FCAT 2.0—Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test® 2.0 · Florida End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments · FTCE – Florida Teacher Certification Examinations and FELE – Florida Educational Leadership Examination · NAEP - National Assessment of Educational Progress

NAEP - National Assessment of Educational Progress


1. What is NAEP?
   
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is often referred to as The Nation’s Report Card. It is the only continuing, nationally representative, state-comparable measure of what our Nation’s students know and can do in core subjects. Because NAEP supplies a biennial benchmark, it can be used by educators, parents, the public, policy makers, and researchers to track how the nation, states, and Trial Urban Districts (TUDAs) perform when assessed on the NAEP Assessment Frameworks. The results are widely reported by national and local media.

NAEP is congressionally mandated and was first administered in 1969 to measure student achievement nationally. Since that time, NAEP assessments have been conducted in numerous academic subjects, including the arts, civics, economics, geography, mathematics, reading, science, U.S. history, and writing. Since 1990, NAEP has reported results for states as well as the nation. Since 2002, NAEP results have been reported for certain large urban districts (TUDAs).

NAEP measures, compares, and reports changes in student achievement in 50 states, 21 TUDAs, and other jurisdictions based on national-, state-, and district- (for TUDAs only) representative samples of students in grades 4, 8, and 12. National results include students enrolled in public and private schools; however, state results only include students enrolled in public schools.

NAEP provides reliable “snapshots” of education at the time of each assessment and across time, and identifies and compares gaps between groups of students. NAEP also offers the following:

  • Achievement-level information on nationally representative samples of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in the arts, civics, economics, geography, mathematics, reading, science, U.S. history, and writing.
  • Achievement-level information on state-level samples of students in grades 4 and 8 in mathematics, reading, science, and writing
    • Florida also receives grade 12 state-level results in mathematics and reading every four years beginning in 2009.
  • Achievement-level information for 21 TUDAs on samples of students from grades 4 and 8 in reading and mathematics
    • Florida has three TUDAs – Duval, Hillsborough and Miami-Dade Counties
  • Long-term Trend Assessment results in reading and mathematics at ages 9, 13, and 17




2. What is the Legislative Authority for NAEP?
   
NAEP is a federally authorized assessment that is also mandated by Florida Statute. As part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind), all schools receiving Title I funds are required to participate in NAEP. The exact wording of the legislation can be found in Public Law 107-110 Title 1 Part A, Section 1111.

NAEP is authorized in Florida by Florida State Statute 1008.22(2), NAEP is included as part of Florida’s state testing program because it provides comparative state and national information about student achievement in mathematics, reading, science, and writing.




3. What is required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2001?
   
Legislation requires that:
  • NAEP Mathematics and Reading assessments be used as national indicators of student mathematics and reading achievement at grades 4 and 8
  • Mathematics and reading assessments be administered biennially in grades 4 and 8, beginning in 2003
  • Districts included in the sample be required to participate in NAEP if they receive Title I funding
  • States receiving federal education funds establish a goal for educational improvement, along with a set of state designed and administered tests for measuring performance towards those goals; the NAEP assessments complement the state assessments

NCLB also states that:

  • The federal government will pay for the administration of all state NAEP assessments
  • A state participating in the biennial mathematics and reading assessments is deemed to have given its permission to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to release its results and data
  • There will be no rewards or sanctions to states, local education agencies, or schools based on state NAEP results
  • Participation in NAEP is not a substitute for a state’s own assessment of its students in grades 3-8 in mathematics and reading
  • Participation in NAEP is voluntary for students, but required for schools




4. Who is responsible for administering NAEP?
   
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education is responsible for managing the NAEP project. The Commissioner of NCES is responsible for ensuring that NAEP tests do not question test takers about personal or family beliefs or make information about the personal identity of test takers publicly available. After students complete the assessment, their name labels are removed from the booklets in order to preserve student anonymity.

The independent, non-partisan National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) oversees and sets policy for NAEP, including selecting the subject areas to be assessed. The assessment is administered to students by NAEP staff.




5. What is NAGB?
   

The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) 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 NAEP. The Secretary of Education appoints NAGB board members, but the board is independent of the U.S. Department of Education. Since 1990, NAGB has set levels of achievement—Basic, Proficient, and Advanced—to provide a gauge of how well student achievement matches what students are expected to know and be able to do at different grade levels.

NAGB develops policies regarding the NAEP assessment and is responsible for the following:

  • Guiding the development of NAEP frameworks and determining the content to be assessed
  • Selecting subject areas to be assessed
  • Setting appropriate student achievement levels to provide a measure of how well students’ performance reflects what they are expected to know and be able to do at grades 4, 8, and 12
  • Developing assessment objectives and test specifications that produce a valid and reliable assessment, and are based on widely accepted professional standards
  • Developing assessment methodology
  • Developing guidelines for reporting and disseminating results
  • Developing standards and procedures for state and national comparisons
  • Determining appropriateness of assessment items and ensuring that they are free from bias
  • Taking actions to improve the form, content, and use of the national assessment




6. Why is NAEP administered?
   
NAEP is administered because it accomplishes the following:
  • Serves as a benchmark based on national levels of proficiency
  • Reports national- and state-level results for all students in selected subject areas at a given time and across time, as well as by race/ethnicity, eligibility for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), students with disabilities (SD), English language learners (ELL), and gender
  • Assesses student performance reflecting current educational and assessment practices
  • Enables the nation, states, and TUDAs to compare current year results and trend comparisons over time



7. What is the basis of NAEP?
   

Each NAEP assessment is built around an organizing framework that serves as both a guide for the development of an assessment tool and determines the content to be assessed in a specific subject area. The frameworks are not meant to serve as a national curriculum, but rather as a broadly accepted outline of what the national assessment should test.

Frameworks are developed through a comprehensive and inclusive national consensus process involving hundreds of teachers, curriculum experts, policymakers, business representatives, and members of the general public. Educational practices, the results of educational research, and changes in curricula are also considered.

Frameworks provide a basic conceptual structure or vision of how to capture data on what students should know and be able to do. After a framework is approved by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), the framework is used to develop an assessment. This same procedure is followed for each of the subjects NAEP assesses.




8. What unique benefits does NAEP provide to Florida?
   
  • Is the only source of national and state-comparable student achievement data
  • Shows comparisons with other states and the nation
  • Monitors progress over time
  • Provides a wealth of information at no cost to the state
  • Presents a minimal burden on the schools
  • Requires no test preparation
  • Places Florida’s state results in national and international contexts



9. What types of items and formats does NAEP include?
   
NAEP is a criterion-referenced assessment. Approximately half of a student’s testing time is allotted to multiple-choice items, with the remaining half devoted to constructed-response items. Also, half of the students assessed in science participate in hands-on or computer-based tasks as well as the paper-and-pencil portion of the assessment. The writing assessment includes two prompts and has been administered as a pilot computer-based assessment at grades 4, 8, and 12. NAGB’s goal is to administer reading and mathematics as operational assessments on tablets by 2017.


10. Who participates in NAEP?
   
Depending on the test and subjects, a representative sample of students is selected from grades 4, 8, and 12 or, for the Long-term Trend study, ages 9, 13, and 17. Each participating student takes only a small portion of the overall assessment. Depending on the size of the school, all students may be selected; if the school is large, NAEP will only take a sample. Student participation in NAEP is voluntary, and parents/guardians must be notified that they may decline to have their student participate in part or in its entirety. Parent/guardian refusals must be in writing. The participation of all selected students enables NAEP to provide the most accurate and representative picture of student performance. Each participating student represents hundreds of similar students. These students represent the geographical, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity that is Florida’s student body.


11. How are schools and students selected to participate in NAEP?
   
As The Nation’s Report Card, NAEP must report accurate results for populations of students and subgroups of these students (e.g., minority students, students from low-income families). To ensure accurate results, the relatively small samples of students must be truly representative of the entire student population in the state.

NAEP uses a process called “probability sampling” to select a representative sample of Florida students. Probability sampling is based on

  • Extent of urbanization
  • Percentage of minority enrollment
  • School standing on statewide achievement tests
  • Socioeconomic status of the students

The relative emphasis on each characteristic varies by state, as some states are more diverse than others.

After the stratification process, systematic sampling is utilized to choose the samples of schools. For national assessments not involving state-by-state samples (even-numbered years), regions of the country are also considered.

Once the schools are selected, a representative sample of students within each school is selected using a probability sampling design. The goal is to ensure that the resulting sample of students contains a representative cross-section of the student population in the state. Within a selected school, all students within a participating grade have an equal chance of being selected. The probability of a student and school being selected as part of the sample varies based on factors such as:

  • Grade
  • Subject
  • Public and private school status
  • School size

These probabilities are important in producing NAEP results, and NAEP takes them into account in the calculation of results through the process of applying sampling weights. The overall goal of the sampling process is that every eligible student within the state has the same probability of selection. Also, if a student or school is sampled for participation in NAEP, there is no effect on their future probability of selection. Being selected one year does not affect the chance of being chosen the next year.

If a school is chosen repeatedly to participate in NAEP, typically it is because the school has more than about 1 percent of the state’s student enrollment in the selected grade. Other schools, with approximately .5 to 1 percent of the enrollment, are selected frequently though not always. Smaller schools may be selected repeatedly in states whose student population in a grade is too small to meet NAEP sample size.

Sampling produces accurate estimates of student achievement while reducing the amount of time and cost to administer and score the assessment. Administering NAEP to all students in a state or the nation would be very expensive, especially as NAEP includes many constructed-response questions that are costly to score.

NAEP does not report results for individual students, schools, or districts, except for the 21 Trial Urban Districts. Therefore, it is not necessary to assess and report results for every student in every school. If the student population in the grade being assessed is less than the sample size set for that assessment at that grade (will vary from year to year), the school can elect to have all the students included in the sample. If it is over the allowed maximum number, then the students are randomly sampled. It is possible for grade 4 and grade 8 students from the same school to be selected, but the samples are independent of one another and will not be assessed on the same day.

For complete coverage of the subject being assessed, several hundred assessment questions are needed. Testing all students on the entire collection of questions that comprise each NAEP assessment is too time-consuming and impractical. Hence, no single student in the sample takes the entire assessment.




12. Do students with disabilities (SD) and/or English language learners (ELL) receive accommodations for NAEP?
   
Students with disabilities (SD) and English language learners (ELL) who participate in Florida’s statewide assessments are required to participate in NAEP, unless NAEP does not allow an accommodation specified in an IEP, Section 504 plan, or ELL plan.

Only ELLs who have been enrolled in a United States school for less than 12 months may be excluded from any NAEP assessment. All other ELLs should participate in NAEP using appropriate accommodations.

The accommodations most frequently used for NAEP include:

  • Extended time
  • Breaks during testing
  • Individual or small group administrations
  • Large print booklets
  • Heritage language-to-English dictionary without definitions (not allowed for the reading assessment)
  • Read aloud in English (not allowed for the reading assessment)

In March 2010, NAGB adopted a policy designed to achieve the following:

  • Maximize participation of sampled students in NAEP
  • Reduce variation in exclusion rates for SD and ELL students across states and districts
  • Develop uniform national rules for including students in NAEP
  • Ensure that NAEP is fully representative of SD and ELL students

The policy states that

  • The proportion of all students excluded from any NAEP sample should not exceed 5%
  • Among students classified as either ELL or SD, the goal is 85% inclusion



13. When is NAEP administered?
   
National, state, and TUDA NAEP are administered biennially in odd-numbered years, between the last week in January and the first week in March. In Florida, Duval, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough County Public Schools participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) program. Field tests are often administered during the same timeframe in the even-numbered years. Every four years, during even-numbered years, the Long-term Trend (LTT) is administered to 13-year-old students in the fall, 9-year-old students in the winter, and 17-year-old students in the spring.


14. How much time does it take to administer NAEP?
   

Paper-and-Pencil Assessment
Students spend up to 90 minutes participating in NAEP. The block of time is broken down into:

  • 15 minutes for directions
  • Two 25-minute cognitive blocks for completion of subject area questions
  • 20 minutes to complete student questionnaires

Technology Based Assessment
Students spend up to 120 minutes participating in NAEP. The block of time is broken down into:

  • 15 minutes for directions
  • 60 minutes on between one and six sections of scenario-based tasks (SBTs), Interactive Computer Tasks (ICTs), Hands-on Tasks (HOTs), or stand-alone blocks of multiple-choice/constructed-response (MC/CR) questions
  • 20 minutes to complete student questionnaires

The assessment must be completed in one day.




15. Do students receive individual NAEP results?
   
No. There are no individual student, school, or district results (unless the district is one of the 21 TUDAs, in which case district results are provided). Only a sample of Florida’s grade 4, 8, and 12 students at a sample of Florida’s schools in a sample of Florida’s districts participate in NAEP, and each participating student takes only a small portion of the overall assessment.


16. When and how are NAEP results released?
   
The National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) is required to release the biennial main NAEP results in mathematics and reading within six months of the assessment’s ending date, usually by mid-October. This occurs in the odd-numbered years. TUDA results are released approximately one month later. NCES produces numerous publications that provide assessment results at the national, state, and TUDA level. The results are posted at The Nations Report Card website. Web-based tools that can be used to analyze results include the NAEP Data Explorer, NAEP State Comparisons Tool, and NAEP Item Maps.


17. How are NAEP results used?
   
NAEP results are used by policymakers, state and local educators, principals, teachers, and parents to improve state and federal education policy, including appropriations issues. Also, a great deal of education research is conducted using NAEP data.


18. Are the NAEP results available on the Internet?
   
Yes. The NAEP Data Explorer (NDE) analyzes NAEP results and provides educators, researchers, government officials, parents, students, and the media access to detailed results. In addition, the NDE creates statistical tables and graphs that answer questions about the academic performance of the nation’s students and factors that relate to student learning.


19. How are NAEP scores reported?
   
The results of NAEP are released as The Nation’s Report Card. The report cards provide national-, state-, and TUDA-level results, results for different demographic groups, results on scale scores and achievement levels, and results for sample questions. Scores and percentages reported are based on samples of students rather than on entire populations. Differences between scale scores or between achievement level percentages are discussed only when they are significant from a statistical perspective. Comparisons between groups are based on statistical tests that consider both the size of the differences and the standard errors of the two statistics being compared.

NAEP scores are reported in two ways.

Scale Scores
Scale scores provide a comparison of student performance with regard to a group (e.g., the nation) or a subgroup (e.g., ELL) on a set of items.

A below Basic achievement level is for those students whose scores fall below the cut score for Basic.

  • The scale score range for reading and mathematics is 0-500
  • The scale score range for science and writing is 0-300

Scale scores are reported as:

  • Averages
  • Percentiles (10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th)

Achievement Levels
NAEP Achievement Levels (ALs) identify what students should know and be able to do at each grade assessed. Results show how different groups are performing in relation to each other and over time. The AL categories are Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. Each level is determined by cut points established by professional educators and the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB).

A below Basic achievement level is for those students whose scores fall below the cut score for Basic. NAGB believes that all students should reach the Proficient level.

NAEP AL descriptions:

  • Advanced – Superior performance
  • Proficient – Solid academic performance for each grade assessed
    • Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, including subject-matter knowledge, application of such knowledge to real-world situations, and analytical skills appropriate to the subject matter
  • Basic – Partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade

Whereas states often define "proficiency" as solid grade-level performance, NAEP's policy definition of its "Proficient" achievement level is "competency over challenging subject matter" and is implicitly intended to indicate higher than grade-level performance. States often define Basic as adequate for promotion. NAEP defines Basic as less than mastery of but more than minimal competency in a subject.

NAEP provides results about subject-matter performance, instructional experiences, and school environment, and reports these results for populations of students (e.g., fourth-graders) and groups of those populations (e.g., male students, Hispanic students). NAEP does not provide individual student, class, or school results.

Because NAEP average scale scores and achievement levels are developed independently for each subject, student performance cannot be compared across subjects. However, these reporting metrics facilitate performance comparisons within a subject from year to year and from one group of students to another in the same grade.

Differences in results—statistical significance
Estimates in the reports and on the website all have a margin of error associated with them. These margins of error are called standard errors, and the sizes of the standard errors influence the results of statistical tests. Comparisons over time or between groups are based on statistical tests that consider both the size of the differences between the estimates and the standard errors of the two estimates being compared. Estimates based on smaller groups are likely to have larger standard errors. When an estimate has a large standard error, a numerical difference that seems large may not be statistically significant. Standard errors for all results are available in the NAEP Data Explorer.




20. How many times has NAEP been administered?
   
Prior to 1990, NAEP reported only national results. The years and types of assessments administered between 1969 and 1988 are shown below.

Year & Type of Assessment

  • 1969-70 - Citizenship, Science, and Writing
  • 1970-71 - Literature and Reading
  • 1971-72 - Music and Social Studies
  • 1972-73 - Mathematics and Science
  • 1973-74 - Career/Occupational Development and Writing
  • 1974-75 - Art, Index of Basic Skills, and Reading
  • 1975-76 - Citizenship/Social Studies and Mathematics
  • 1976-77 - Basic Life Skills and Science
  • 1977-78 - Consumer Skills and Mathematics
  • 1978-79 - Art, Music, and Writing
  • 1979-80 - Reading, Literature, and Art
  • 1981-82 - Mathematics, Science, Citizenship, and Social Studies
  • 1984 - Reading and Writing
  • 1986 - Computer Competence, U.S. History, Literature, Mathematics, Science, and Reading
  • 1988 - Civics, Document Literacy, Geography, U.S. History, Reading, and Writing

NAEP state assessments began in 1990 as the NAEP Trial State Assessment (TSA). The grade(s) for which Florida received state-level results are indicated with an asterisk (*). There are national results for all of the assessments noted in the list below.

The years and types of assessments administered between 1990 and 2013 are shown in the list below. Florida did not participate in state NAEP in 2000 because that was the first year the FCAT was administered in grades 3 through 10.

Year & Type of Assessment

  • 1990 - Mathematics, grades 4, 8*, and 12; Long-term Trend
  • 1992 - Reading, grades 4*, 8, and 12; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Long-term Trend
  • 1994 - Reading, grades 4*, 8, and 12; Geography, grades 4, 8, and 12; U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12; Long-term Trend
  • 1996 - Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Science, grades 4, 8*, and 12; Long-term Trend
  • 1997 - Arts, grade 8
  • 1998 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Writing, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Civics, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1999 - Long-term Tend
  • 2000 - Reading, grade 4; Mathematics, grades 4, 8, and 12; Science, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2001 - Geography, grades 4, 8, and 12; U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2002 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Writing, grades 4*, 8*, and 12
  • 2003 - Reading, grades 4* and 8; Mathematics, grades 4* and 8*
  • 2004 - Long-term Trend
  • 2005 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Science, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; High School Transcript Study
  • 2006 - Civics and U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12; Economics, grade 12
  • 2007 - Reading, grades 4*and 8*; Mathematics, grades 4* and 8*; Writing, grades 8* and 12
  • 2008 - Long-term Trend; Arts, grade 8
  • 2009 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Science, grades 4*, 8*, and 12
  • 2010 - U.S. History, Civics, and Geography, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2011 - Reading, grades 4* and 8*; Mathematics, grades 4* and 8*; Science, grade 8*; Writing, grades 8 and 12
  • 2012 - Long-term Trend; Writing, grade 4; Economics, grade 12
  • 2013 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Technology and Engineering Literacy, grade 8
  • 2014 – U.S. History, Civics, and Geography, grades 4, 8 and 12; Technology and Engineering Literacy, grade 8
  • 2015 – Reading, grades 4*, 8* and 12; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8* and 12; Science, grades 4*, 8* and 12; Technology-Based Assessment, grades 4, 8 and 12




21. What is the schedule for future administrations of NAEP?
   
The schedule below was approved by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) on August 3, 2013. The asterisk (*) indicates the years and grades for which Florida will receive state-level results.
  • 2016 - Long-term Trend, ages 9, 13 and 17; Arts, grade 8
  • 2017 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Writing, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*



22. Have NAEP assessment items been released?
   
Yes. After every assessment cycle, NAEP releases a portion of the main assessment. The NAEP Questions Tool (NQT) provides easy access to NAEP questions, student responses, and scoring guides. This tool also provides state and district as well as national results on all released NAEP items. The NQT allows users to print selected questions and all their relevant information. The purpose of the tool is to provide teachers, researchers, and educators greater access to NAEP assessment items to facilitate understanding of and preparation for state assessments as well as NAEP.

Below is a list, by subject and grade, of questions that were released between 1990 and 2015.

Year, Subject & Grade

  • 1990 - Mathematics, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1992 - Mathematics and Reading, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1994 - Reading and U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1996 - Mathematics, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1998 - Civics, Reading, and Writing, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2000 - Science, grades 4, 8, and 12; Reading, grade 4
  • 2001 - Geography and U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2002 - Reading and Writing, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2003 - Mathematics and Reading, grades 4 and 8
  • 2004 - Long-term Trend Reading and Mathematics, ages 9, 13, and 17
  • 2005 - Mathematics, Reading, and Science, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2006 - Economics, grade 12; Civics and U.S. History, grade 4, 8, and 12
  • 2007 - Mathematics and Reading, grades 4 and 8; Writing, grades 8 and 12
  • 2008 - Long-term Trend Reading and Mathematics, ages 9, 13, and 17
  • 2009 - Science, Mathematics, and Reading, grades 4, 8 and 12
  • 2010 - Civics, U.S. History, and Reading, grades 4, 8, grade 12; Mathematics, grade 12
  • 2011 - Mathematics and Reading, grades 4 and 8
  • 2012 - Science, grade 8
  • 2013 – Mathematics and Reading, grades 4, 8 and 12
  • 2015 – Civics, Geography, and U.S. History, grades 4, 8 and 12 (spring release)




23. What is the history of the NAEP program?
   
For a history of NAEP, refer to Historical Chronology of NAEP (PDF).


24. How does NAEP compare to Florida’s statewide assessments?
   
The primary purposes of Florida’s statewide assessments are to improve classroom instruction, to serve as an accountability tool for assessing student achievement of the Florida Standards Assessments in mathematics and reading and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS), in science, and to measure progress of individual students, schools, districts, and the state towards adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals. Reports of Florida’s statewide assessment results do not provide comparisons to the results of other states or the nation.

NAEP measures students’ cumulative knowledge and not necessarily what they were taught in the current school year. NAEP state-level assessments are administered to representative samples of grade 4, 8, and 12 students. The primary purposes of NAEP are to enable states to monitor their progress over time and to compare results with those of other states and across the nation. NAEP does not report scores for individual students, schools, or districts (except for the 21 Trial Urban Districts).

In each administration of NAEP, samples of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 take only one subject and only a portion of the test in that one subject. Within the subject area, students are given a sample of questions. The test is timed and the total actual time on the test is about an hour. Approximately half of the questions are multiple-choice and the other half are extended-response.

The methodology of sampling, the methods of testing, the assessment frameworks, the criteria for performance levels, and reporting scales for each subject in NAEP are different from Florida’s; therefore, there is no direct method for comparing results. NAEP state results can be used to confirm findings regarding student performance based on statewide assessment results, however, comparing the results of Florida’s statewide assessments with those of NAEP should only be done after carrying out a thorough examination of the differences between the tests so the limitations of the comparisons are well understood. The two assessments differ in

  • Purpose
  • Testing context
  • Content assessed and item characteristics
  • Score scale
  • Proficiency-level standards/Basic-level standards
  • Motivation level of students (Florida's statewide assessments are high-stakes tests while NAEP is not)
  • Students assessed (Florida's statewide assessments test all students; NAEP assesses only a sample of students at a sample of schools)

Users should understand that the Florida’s statewide assessments and NAEP provide different, unique perspectives on the academic progress of Florida students, and together they help paint a more complete picture of students’ academic accomplishments.

Florida’s NCLB Accountability Workbook includes the following chart showing the relationship between NAEP and the FSA achievement levels:

FSA Achievement Levels & NAEP Achievement Standards

  • Level 5 - Advanced
  • Level 4 - Proficient
  • Level 3 - Basic
  • Levels 1 and 2 - below Basic




25. Where can I get additional information about NAEP?
   
If you are looking for information that you have not been able to find on this website, or on The Nation’s Report Card, you can submit a question or comment via Contact NAEP.