2009 Science Framework

Science Framework and Specifications

Science Framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress

NAEP measures student science achievement nationally, state by state, and, most recently, across selected urban school districts. Periodically, the framework underlying the science assessment is revised or updated. This document, Science Framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, contains a new set of recommendations for the NAEP Science Assessment to be administered in 2009 and beyond. The framework provides guidance on the science content to be assessed, the types of assessment questions, and the administration of the assessment.

For more than 35 years, NAEP has gathered information on student achievement in selected academic subjects. Originally, assessments were age-based samples of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students. Beginning in 1983, the assessment also has included grade-based samples of students in grades 4, 8, and 12. Currently, long-term trend NAEP continues to assess 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds in mathematics and reading, while main NAEP assesses students in grades 4, 8, and 12. More information about differences between long-term trend and main NAEP can be found on the Internet at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/about/ltt_main_diff.asp (NCES 2005b).

NAEP has become an important source of information on what U.S. students know and are able to do in reading, mathematics, science, U.S. history, writing, and other subjects. In addition, NAEP provides information on how student performance has changed over time. Since the 1990s, in addition to the national-level assessments, NAEP has conducted and reported state-level assessments at grades 4 and 8 in reading, mathematics, writing, and science. State-level as well as national science assessments were conducted in 1996, 2000, and 2005. The resulting data on student knowledge and performance have been accompanied by background information that allows analyses of a number of student demographic and instructional factors related to achievement. The assessments have been designed to allow comparisons of student performance over time and among subgroups of students according to region, parental education, gender, and race/ethnicity. In 2002, NAEP began a Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in districts that volunteered to participate. TUDA has continued through 2005, when 10 districts took part in NAEP assessments that produced district-level results.

Download a PDF of the framework
Download a DOC of the framework
Learn more about framework development