Since 1973, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has gathered information about student achievement in mathematics. Results of these periodic assessments, produced in print and Web-based formats, provide valuable information to a wide variety of audiences. They inform citizens about the nature of students’ comprehension of the subject, curriculum specialists about the level and nature of student achievement, and policymakers about factors related to schooling and its relationship to student proficiency in mathematics.
The NAEP assessment in mathematics has two components that differ in purpose. One assessment measures long-term trends in achievement among 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students by using the same basic design each time. This unique measure allows for comparisons of students’ knowledge of mathematics since it was first administered in 1973. The main NAEP assessment is administered at the national, state, and selected urban district levels. Results are reported on student achievement in grades 4, 8, and 12 at the national level and for grades 4 and 8 at the state and for large urban districts that volunteered to participate. The main NAEP assessment is based on a framework (such as this one) that can be updated periodically. The 2009 Mathematics Framework only reflects changes in grade 12 from 2005; mathematics content objectives for grades 4 and 8 have not changed. Therefore, main NAEP trendlines from the early 1990s can continue at fourth and eighth grades for the 2009 assessment.