The National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading and mathematics to
determine preparedness for high school, recently released research
evaluating the extent to which 8th graders who took the NAEP test are on
track to be academically prepared for college.
The research included a study of the extent to which the content of the
2013 NAEP reading and math assessments were aligned with the 8th grade
ACT EXPLORE assessments in the same subjects. The project was completed
under the leadership of senior researchers of the NORC Education and Child Development department
, in partnership with the Wisconsin Center for Education Product and Services. A press release announcing the availability of the study follows:
New Preparedness Research on 8th Grade NAEP Reading and Mathematics Released
For Immediate Release: March 21, 2016
(WASHINGTON) – The National Assessment Governing Board released
today new research that evaluates the extent to which 8th graders who
took the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading
and mathematics are on track for being academically prepared for college
by the end of high school. This work extends the Governing Board’s 12th
grade preparedness research program for NAEP.
Board wanted to determine the percentage of students on track for being
academically prepared for college earlier than 12th grade,“ said Dr.
William Bushaw, Governing Board executive director. “This information
gives educators, researchers, and policymakers information they need."
The research includes two types of studies—statistical relationship and content alignment.The statistical relationship studies
linked the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2013
grade 8 reading and mathematics scores of students in three
states—Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina—to their scores on the ACT
EXPLORE® Reading and Mathematics assessments. These three states
volunteered to participate in the study since each state administered
EXPLORE® to all 8th graders. The EXPLORE® assessments were designed to
assess a student’s academic progress at the 8th and 9th grade
levels—especially with respect to college preparedness. The goal was to
relate the two 8th grade assessments statistically, and identify a point
or range on the NAEP scales that could be linked to the EXPLORE®
College Readiness Benchmarks.
- Results of the statistical relationship studies showed that the
EXPLORE® readiness benchmarks and the NAEP Proficient achievement level
cut scores correspond well to each other.
Separate reports were released for each state: Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina. The research findings provide each state with an additional picture of the overall achievement of 8th graders.
The content alignment studies
analyzed the degree of alignment between the 2013 NAEP Grade 8 Reading
and Mathematics assessments and the 8th grade EXPLORE® assessments in
the same subjects. Although perfect alignment between two different
tests cannot be expected, a substantial overlap increases confidence
that statistical links between the two assessments indicate similar
performance in terms of student knowledge, skills, and abilities.
- Moderate content alignment, between NAEP and EXPLORE®
Mathematics as the content and complexity on both were essentially the
- Moderate content alignment between NAEP and EXPLORE® Reading. The
study also showed the content complexity of NAEP reading was higher on
average than EXPLORE® reading.
"This vital research is a critical to the goal of ensuring that all
students are on track for success well before they enter high school,”
said ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda. “ACT is proud of its
longtime partnership with the National Assessment Governing Board. Our
organizations remain committed to working together in efforts to improve
student achievement and better understand college and career readiness.
ACT is pleased that our data, insights and expertise have made such a
valuable contribution to this important NAGB research."
Governing Board worked with ACT on the content alignment studies and the
three states on the statistical relationship studies, allowing for the
input and reviews needed to conduct the study and finalize the reports.
Although EXPLORE® has been replaced with ACT Aspire®, ACT’s grade 3 to
early high school assessment system which is designed to measure and
track student readiness for college and career, results of these
in-depth studies paves the way for new reporting options for addressing
the academic preparedness of 8th graders.
For the past decade,
the Governing Board has been studying the use of NAEP as an indicator of
whether students are academically prepared for education and job
training opportunities after high school. The Technical Report: NAEP 12th Grade Preparedness Research includes findings from more than 30 studies conducted by the Board.
In 2013, the Board released Towards the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
as an Indicator of Academic Preparedness for College and Job Training.
This summary provided the rationale for pursuing 12th grade
preparedness, the research results from studies conducted in connection
with the 2009 administration of 12th grade NAEP, and the implications
for NAEP 12th grade reporting.
A summary of research related to job training can be found in Research on Academic Preparedness for Job Training Programs.
For media inquiries, contact Stephaan Harris at (202) 357-7504 or email@example.com.
*Download the PDF format of this release
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