National Assessment Governing Board Unanimously Approves New NAEP Assessment Schedule
Subjects and grades to be tested on The Nation’s Report Card scheduled to 2024
For Immediate Release: March 16, 2015
(WASHINGTON) – The National Assessment Governing Board unanimously approved the assessment schedule for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. The new schedule includes nearly a dozen subjects—including reading, mathematics, science, writing, and technology and engineering literacy—to be tested over the next decade for grades 4, 8 and 12.
The new, forward-looking schedule, approved March 6 at the Governing Board’s quarterly meeting, projects activities through the year 2024 and supersedes the previous schedule that went through 2017. The schedule indicates the breadth of subjects that members of the Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP, unanimously agreed should be tested to measure the educational progress of the nation’s students. The Governing Board sets the long-term schedule to provide a framework for planning by the participating states and districts since several NAEP subjects have results for all 50 states and 21 large urban school systems.
This schedule is noteworthy because beginning in 2017, all NAEP assessments will be administered on digital platforms such as computers or tablets. The Board also affirmed its commitment to reporting long-term trends and studies will be conducted during this transition to digital-based assessments to maintain the NAEP program’s ability to report trends in student achievement. The NAEP digital-based assessments will enable students to demonstrate important skills in problem solving and analytical thinking which are not as easily measured by paper-and-pencil assessments.
The updated schedule also signals the Board’s aspiration to continue assessing a broad base of areas, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and to provide state level data in several subjects. The Governing Board also expressed its desire to expand the number of districts that participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA)—currently consisting of 21 large-city school systems—provided sufficient funding.
“NAEP is the only common yardstick our nation has to measure student progress and the Board’s responsibility is to put forth a schedule that serves the interests of parents, educators, communities, and policymakers,” said Governing Board Chair Terry Mazany. “Given the reality of significant and constant changes in education policy and testing that we have faced not only today, but over the past several decades, NAEP remains the trusted standard and it is important that we continue its tradition of innovation in measurement and testing with this transition to digital-based assessments.”
The Governing Board consulted with the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers NAEP, to determine which subject areas, grades, and years NAEP could be conducted to continue to provide the country with its only national measure of educational progress in a variety of subject areas.
The new assessment schedule was planned in view of current budget constraints and future funding uncertainty. To protect the priorities identified above and ensure the ability to fulfill the congressionally mandated assessments for reading and mathematics in grades 4 and 8 in the year 2017, the Governing Board made the difficult decision to conduct grade 12 assessments for reading and mathematics and the writing assessment in grades 4, 8, and 12 in 2017 with a nationally representative sample only, forgoing state level results in both subjects. In its action to approve this schedule, the Governing Board noted that further adjustments to the schedule may be needed in the future to accommodate funding levels appropriated by Congress.
“The Board is guided by our charge from Congress to set policy for NAEP and utilize federal dollars effectively, to provide achievement results over time for all U.S. students and student demographic groups, and to compare results at the national, state, and large urban district levels,” Mazany said.