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June 3 -- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) invites public comment on its proposal for the 2021 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Comments are due by July 6.
 
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a federally authorized survey of student achievement at grades 4, 8, and 12 in various subject areas, such as mathematics, reading, writing, science, U.S. history, civics, and technology and engineering literacy (TEL).

NAEP is conducted by NCES in the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. As such, NCES is responsible for designing and executing the assessment, including designing the assessment procedures and methodology, developing the assessment content, selecting the final assessment content, sampling schools and students, recruiting schools, administering the assessment, scoring student responses, determining the analysis procedures, analyzing the data, and reporting the results.  

The National Assessment Governing Board (henceforth referred to as the Governing Board), appointed by the Secretary of Education but independent of the Department, is a bipartisan group whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public. The Governing Board sets policy for NAEP and is responsible for developing the frameworks and test specifications that serve as the blueprint for the assessments.

The NAEP assessments contain diverse items such as “cognitive” assessment items, which measure what students know and can do in an academic subject, and “survey” or “non-cognitive” items, which gather information such as demographic variables, as well as construct-related information, such as courses taken. The survey portion includes a collection of data from students, teachers, and school administrators. Since NAEP assessments are administered uniformly using the same sets of test booklets across the nation, NAEP results serve as a common metric for all states and select urban districts. The assessment stays essentially the same from year to year, with only carefully documented changes. This permits NAEP to provide a clear picture of student academic progress over time.

NAEP consists of two assessment programs: the NAEP long-term trend (LTT) assessment and the main NAEP assessment. The LTT assessments are given at the national level only and are administered to students at ages 9, 13, and 17 in a manner that is very different from that used for the main NAEP assessments. LTT reports mathematics and reading results that present trend data since the 1970s. LTT was last administered in 2020 for ages 9 and 13 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures, NCES decided that age 17 administration would be delayed until Spring 2021, or later. This submission only covers the administration of the 2021 main NAEP assessment.  

The possible universe of student respondents is estimated to be 12 million at grades 4, 8, and 12 for main NAEP, and at ages 9, 13, and 17  for Long-Term Trend (LTT), attending the approximately 154,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and including Bureau of Indian Education and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools. Note that territories, including Puerto Rico, are not included in the national samples.  

NAEP provides results on subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students (e.g., all fourth-graders) and groups within those populations (e.g., female students, Hispanic students). NAEP does not provide scores for individual students or schools. The main NAEP assessments report current achievement levels and trends in student achievement at grades 4, 8, and 12 for the nation and, for certain assessments (e.g., reading and mathematics), states and select urban districts.   

The Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) is a special project developed to determine the feasibility of reporting district-level results for large urban districts.  Currently, the following 27 districts participate in the TUDA program: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore City, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Clark County (NV), Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, District of Columbia (DCPS), Duval County (FL), Fort Worth, Fresno, Guilford County (NC), Hillsborough County (FL), Houston, Jefferson County (KY), Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, Milwaukee, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Shelby County (TN).

This request is to conduct NAEP operational assessments in 2021 and will follow the traditional NAEP design which assesses each student in 60 minutes for one cognitive subject.

NAEP Nation's Report Card website:  https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/
Federal Register notice inviting comment:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/06/03/2020-11925/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-for
Proposed 2021 NAEP: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202005-1850-006 (Click on IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for narrative description of plans, methods, timeline.)
 
Point of contact: Peggy Carr, Associate Commissioner, Assessments Division, NCES  Peggy.Carr@ed.gov  (202) 245-6168
 
AEA Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections: https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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