The Content Alignment between the NAEP and WorkKeys Assessments: Final Report


HumRRO, 2014, Grade 8 & 12


This study explores how the content of the grade 8 and 12 NAEP Mathematics and Reading Frameworks and item pools relates to the content of the ACT WorkKeys assessments for Applied Mathematics, Applied Technology, Reading for Information, and Locating Information.


This study compares the NAEP Frameworks and item pools for mathematics and reading and the ACT WorkKeys assessments for Applied Mathematics, Applied Technology, Reading for Information, and Locating Information. It expands upon prior Governing Board preparedness research on the content alignment between NAEP and WorkKeys in several ways. First, this study includes the Frameworks and items from the NAEP grade 8 assessments in order to address concerns raised that grade 8 Frameworks may provide a better match to the academic content expectations of job training programs. Secondly, additional WorkKeys assessments (Applied Technology and Locating Information) are included in this content comparison study to determine the extent to which these other WorkKeys assessments relate to NAEP mathematics and NAEP reading content connected to informational. Finally, the NAEP Frameworks are directly compared to the cognitive targets of the WorkKeys assessment to determine the degree of overlap between the two content domains.


The methodology for this study deviated from the NAEP content alignment design guidance (see Webb, 2005) by not requiring expert panelists to verify the alignment between each assessment and its related content standards (i.e., NAEP items to NAEP Frameworks and WorkKeys items to WorkKeys targets), and by analyzing Frameworks/targets and test items in terms of Cognitive Complexity Level (CCL) rather than in terms of Depth of Knowledge (DOK).


Content Alignment:

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