Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has been an ongoing national indicator of what American students know and can do in major academic subjects, including reading in English. NAEP reading assessments have been adminis-tered on a regular schedule to students in grades 4, 8, and 12. Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), NAEP will assess reading in grades 4 and 8 every 2 years. NAEP will also measure reading in grade 12 every 4 years.
The Reading Framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress is one of two documents that describe the assessment; it is intended for a general audience and presents the conceptual base and content of the assessment. The second document is the Reading Assessment and Item Specifications for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress and is intended for a more technical audience, including the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the contractors that will develop the NAEP Reading Assessment. The specifications provide the “test blueprint”; that is, information about passage selection, item development, and other aspects of test development.