NAEP Results


The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) is a test that has been administered nationwide to a carefully designed student sample population that mirrors the demographics for each state. The results from NAEP allow people to examine student achievement across the nation as well as compare all subgroups across the age groups on a state by state basis.


NAEP Achievement Level Standards for Reading Grade 4
Basic
Fourth-grade students performing at the Basic level should demonstrate an understanding of the overall meaning of what they read. When reading text appropriate for fourth-graders, they should be able to make relatively obvious connections between the text and their own experiences and extend the ideas in the text by making simple inferences.
Proficient
Fourth-grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to demonstrate an overall understanding of the text, providing inferential as well as literal information. When reading text appropriate to fourth grade, they should be able to extend the ideas in the text by making inferences, drawing conclusions, and making connections to their own experiences. The connection between the text and what the student infers should be clear.
Advanced
Fourth-grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to generalize about topics in the reading selection and demonstrate an awareness of how authors compose and use literary devices. When reading text appropriate to fourth grade, they should be able to judge text critically and, in general, to give thorough answers that indicate careful thought.

NAEP Achievement Level Standards for Reading Grade 8
Basic
Eighth-grade students performing at the Basic level should be able to locate information; identify statements of main idea, theme, or author's purpose; and make simple inferences from texts. They should be able to interpret the meaning of a word as it is used in the text. Students performing at this level should also be able to state judgments and give some support about content and presentation of content.
Proficient
Eighth-grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to provide relevant information and summarize main ideas and themes. They should be able to make and support inferences about a text, connect parts of a text, and analyze text features. Students performing at this level should also be able to fully substantiate judgments about content and presentation of content.
Advanced
Eighth-grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to make connections within and across texts and to explain causal relations. They should be able to evaluate and justify the strength of supporting evidence and the quality of an author's presentation. Students performing at the Advanced level also should be able to manage the processing demands of analysis and evaluation by stating, explaining, and justifying.

NAEP Achievement Level Standards for Mathematics Grade 4
Basic
Fourth-graders performing at the Basic level should be able to estimate and use basic facts to perform simple computations with whole numbers, show some understanding of fractions and decimals, and solve some simple real-world problems in all NAEP content areas. Students at this level should be able to use—though not always accurately—four-function calculators, rulers, and geometric shapes. Their written responses will often be minimal and presented without supporting information.
Proficient
Fourth-graders performing at the Proficient level should be able to use whole numbers to estimate, compute, and determine whether results are reasonable. They should have a conceptual understanding of fractions and decimals; be able to solve real-world problems in all NAEP content areas; and use four-function calculators, rulers, and geometric shapes appropriately. Students performing at the Proficient level should employ problem-solving strategies such as identifying and using appropriate information. Their written solutions should be organized and presented both with supporting information and explanations of how they were achieved.
Advanced
Fourth-graders performing at the Advanced level should be able to solve complex and nonroutine real-world problems in all NAEP content areas. They should display mastery in the use of four-function calculators, rulers, and geometric shapes. The students are expected to draw logical conclusions and justify answers and solution processes by explaining why, as well as how, they were achieved. They should go beyond the obvious in their interpretations and be able to communicate their thoughts clearly and concisely.

NAEP Achievement Level Standards for Mathematics Grade 8
Basic
Eighth-graders performing at the Basic level should complete problems correctly with the help of structural prompts such as diagrams, charts, and graphs. They should be able to solve problems in all NAEP content areas through the appropriate selection and use of strategies and technological tools—including calculators, computers, and geometric shapes. Students at this level also should be able to use fundamental algebraic and informal geometric concepts in problem solving.

As they approach the Proficient level, students at the Basic level should be able to determine which of the available data are necessary and sufficient for correct solutions and use them in problem solving. However, these eighth-graders show limited skill in communicating mathematically.
Proficient
Eighth-graders performing at the Proficient level should be able to conjecture, defend their ideas, and give supporting examples. They should understand the connections between fractions, percents, decimals, and other mathematical topics such as algebra and functions. Students at this level are expected to have a thorough understanding of Basic level arithmetic operations—an understanding sufficient for problem solving in practical situations.

Quantity and spatial relationships in problem solving and reasoning should be familiar to them, and they should be able to convey underlying reasoning skills beyond the level of arithmetic. They should be able to compare and contrast mathematical ideas and generate their own examples. These students should make inferences from data and graphs, apply properties of informal geometry, and accurately use the tools of technology. Students at this level should understand the process of gathering and organizing data and be able to calculate, evaluate, and communicate results within the domain of statistics and probability.
Advanced
Eighth-graders performing at the Advanced level should be able to probe examples and counterexamples in order to shape generalizations from which they can develop models. Eighth-graders performing at the Advanced level should use number sense and geometric awareness to consider the reasonableness of an answer. They are expected to use abstract thinking to create unique problem-solving techniques and explain the reasoning processes underlying their conclusions.

NAEP Achievement Level Standards for Science Grade 8
Basic
Students performing at the Basic level should be able to state or recognize correct science principles. They should be able to explain and predict observations of natural phenomena at multiple scales, from microscopic to global. They should be able to describe properties and common physical and chemical changes in materials; describe changes in potential and kinetic energy of moving objects; describe levels of organization of living systems—cells, multicellular organisms, and ecosystems; identify related organisms based on hereditary traits; describe a model of the solar system; and describe the processes of the water cycle. They should be able to design observational and experimental investigations employing appropriate tools for measuring variables. They should be able to propose and critique the scientific validity of alternative individual and local community responses to design problems.
Proficient
Students performing at the Proficient level should be able to demonstrate relationships among closely related science principles. They should be able to identify evidence of chemical changes; explain and predict motions of objects using positiontime graphs; explain metabolism, growth, and reproduction in cells, organisms, and ecosystems; use observations of the Sun, Earth, and Moon to explain visible motions in the sky; and predict surface and ground water movements in different regions of the world. They should be able to explain and predict observations of phenomena at multiple scales, from microscopic to macroscopic and local to global, and to suggest examples of observations that illustrate a science principle. They should be able to use evidence from investigations in arguments that accept, revise, or reject scientific models. They should be able to use scientific criteria to propose and critique alternative individual and local community responses to design problems.
Advanced
Students performing at the Advanced level should be able to develop alternative representations of science principles and explanations of observations. They should be able to use information from the periodic table to compare families of elements; explain changes of state in terms of energy flow; trace matter and energy through living systems at multiple scales; predict changes in populations through natural selection and reproduction; use lithospheric plate movement to explain geological phenomena; and identify relationships among regional weather and atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns. They should be able to design and critique investigations involving sampling processes, data quality review processes, and control of variables. They should be able to propose and critique alternative solutions that reflect science-based trade-offs for addressing local and regional problems.

NAEP Participation/Inclusion

NAEP assesses a representative sample of all students selected as a part of its sampling process. In all NAEP schools, accommodations are provided as necessary for students with disabilities (SD) and English language learners (ELL).The accommodations are available to students whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) specifically requires them. Because some ELL students do not have an IEP, decisions about accommodations for these students are typically made by knowledgeable school staff.

The NAEP program has established procedures to include as many students with disabilities (SD) and English language learners (ELLs) as possible in the assessments. School staff make the decisions about whether to include an SD or ELL student in a NAEP assessment, and which testing accommodations, if any, they should receive.

School staff who are familiar with these students are asked a series of questions to help them decide whether each student should participate in the assessment and whether the student needs accommodations.

Inclusion in NAEP of an SD or ELL student is encouraged if that student (a) participated in the regular state academic assessment in the subject being tested, and (b) if that student can participate in NAEP with the accommodations NAEP allows. Even if the student did not participate in the regular state assessment, or if he/she needs accommodations NAEP does not allow, school staff are asked whether that student could participate in NAEP with the allowable accommodations.

A listing of the accommodations allowed on NAEP are presented below.

Accommodations for Students with DisabilitiesMathReadingScience
Has directions read aloud/repeated in English or receives assistance to understand directions1 yesyesyes
Has directions only signedyesyesyes
Has test items signedyesnoyes
Has occasional words or phrases read aloudyesnoyes
Has all or most of the test materials read aloudyesnoyes
Uses a Braille version of the testyesyesyes
Uses a large-print version of the testyesyesyes
Uses magnifying equipmentyesyesyes
Responds in sign languageyesyesyes
Uses a Braille typewriter to respondyesyesyes
Points to answers or responds orally to a scribeyesyesyes
Tape records answersnonono
Uses a computer or typewriter to respond—no spell/grammar check allowedyesyesyes
Uses a template to respondyesyesyes
Uses large marking pen or special writing toolyesyesyes
Writes directly in test booklet1yesyesyes
Takes the test in small group (5 or fewer)yesyesyes
Takes the test one-on-oneyesyesyes
Takes the test in a study carrelyesyesyes
Receives preferential seating, special lighting, or furnitureyesyesyes
Has test administered by a familiar personyesyesyes
Receives extended timeyesyesyes
Is given breaks during the testyesyesyes
Takes test session over several daysnonono
Uses a calculator, including talking or Braille calculator, for computation tasksnonono
Uses an abacus, arithmetic tables, graph papernonono
Uses dictionary, thesaurus, or spelling and grammar-checking software or devicesnonono

Accommodations for English Language LearnersMathReadingScience
Has directions read aloud/repeated in English or receives assistance to understand directions1yesyesyes
Has directions only read aloud in native languageyesnoyes
Has test materials read aloud in native languageyesnoyes
Uses a bilingual version of the booklet (Spanish/English only)yesnoyes
Uses a bilingual word-for-word dictionary without definitionsyesnoyes
Has occasional words or phrases read aloud in Englishyesnoyes
Has all or most of the test materials read aloud in Englishyesnoyes
Has oral or written responses in native language translated into written Englishnonono
Takes the test in small group (5 or fewer)yesyesyes
Takes the test one-on-oneyesyesyes
Receives preferential seatingyesyesyes
Has test administered by familiar personyesyesyes
Receives extended timeyesyesyes
Is given breaks during the testyesyesyes
Takes test session over several daysnonono

1: Accommodations that are standard NAEP practice, and so are not considered as accommodations.

NAEP allows most accommodations students receive on the Maryland state tests with the exception of the following:

NAEP DOES NOT ALLOW:

  • Test questions read aloud (verbatim reading) or signed for the reading assessment.
  • Tests taken over several days.
  • The use of a calculator for computation tasks in a booklet or section that does not require one including talking or Braille calculators.
  • The use of a dictionary, thesaurus, or spelling and grammar checking software or devices.
  • Some visual organizers such as graph paper or templates.

State NAEP Sampling and Participation Rate

In state assessments (mathematics, reading, science, and writing), a sample of schools and students is selected to represent each participating state. In an average state, 2,500 students in approximately 100 public schools are assessed per grade, for each subject assessed. The selection process for schools uses stratified random sampling within categories of schools with similar characteristics. Some schools or groups of schools (districts) may be selected for each assessment cycle if they are unique in the state.

Typically, 30 students per grade per subject are selected randomly in each school. Some of the students who are randomly selected may be classified as students with disabilities (SD) or as English language learners (ELL).


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