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Math Framework Update Officially Launched

Governing Board Launches NAEP Mathematics Framework Update
National nonprofit research, development, and service agency WestEd will lead the effort

For Immediate Release: Oct. 4, 2018
Contact: Stephaan Harris | (202) 357-7504 |

After a highly competitive bid process, the National Assessment Governing Board awarded a contract to WestEd to assist the Board in updating its mathematics framework for The Nation’s Report Card—also known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The process will convene a panel of subject matter experts, practitioners, and members of the general public to develop updated recommendations, followed by collection of public comment.

At grades 4 and 8, the NAEP Mathematics Assessment provides results for the nation, states, and 27 large districts that volunteer to participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment. Each NAEP Assessment is guided by a framework that defines the knowledge and skills to be tested at each grade, the format of the assessment, and the definition of NAEP achievement levels, which represent what students should know and be able to do.

As part of overseeing NAEP, the Governing Board develops these frameworks, which determine the content that will be assessed for each subject area. Each framework development and update process takes into account various factors such as state and local curricula and assessments, widely accepted professional standards, international standards and exemplary research. The comprehensive process will produce assessment objectives and test specifications through active participation of a framework panel, including researchers, educators, business leaders, and policymakers.

Periodically, the Governing Board reviews existing NAEP frameworks to determine if changes are warranted. In May, the Board’s assessment development committee led a review of the NAEP Mathematics Framework, last updated in 2001. They used expert commentary and an analysis of state standards to determine next steps for the NAEP Mathematics Framework. In August, the Board adopted the committee’s recommendation to begin a framework update.

Updates to the NAEP Mathematics Framework will be complete in Fall 2019, when the NAEP results in math and reading for the nation, states, and urban districts are expected to be released. The $2.3 million contract to WestEd supports framework update processes for both mathematics and reading. An option year allows for updating one additional framework by 2020, if needed. Updated frameworks from these projects will be reflected by the 2025 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Report Cards, which allows time for assessment development, including a pilot administration in 2023.

WestEd partners with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd also conducted the framework development process for the groundbreaking NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework in 2008-2009, which marked the most recent Governing Board framework project.

Read the Governing Board’s framework development policy for more details on the Board’s role with principles and guidelines for framework update processes.


The National Assessment Governing Board is an independent, nonpartisan board whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. For more information about the Governing Board, visit


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