Predicting Group Membership using National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Mathematics Data

  • David A. WalkerEmail author
  • Shereeza F. MohammedEmail author

Since 1969 in the United States, the federally mandated National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has been used to assess the condition of student learning at the state and national levels, in particular subject areas, and in specific grades and/or ages (US National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES], n.d.-a). In the 1990s, academic achievement in various disciplines derived from NAEP scores were tracked by state and measured via the percentage of students at or above the levels established in a three-tiered scoring model: basic, proficient, or advanced (Hombo, 2003).

In concert with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB, 2002), the US Congress decreed NAEP as the Nation's Report Card, to be used to indicate student-achievement score trends in academic areas such as mathematics, reading, science, and history among states in nationally representative samples (US NCES, n.d.-a). Results derived from NAEP data aggregated at the state level pertaining to student achievement—which in the latter years of its nearly 40-year existence have been employed as a means toward ascertaining accountability affiliated with high-stakes testing, such as NCLB—have yielded mixed interpretations and perceptions (see the American Educational Research Association, 2000, definition for a standard interpretation of the term high-stakes testing). For example, Hanushek and Raymond (2006) found that NAEP mathematics scores provided some positive evidence for accountability, whereas Amrein and Berliner (2002) determined the contrary with various state-level NAEP scores in certain academic areas. Darling-Hammond (2007) contended that NAEP, in areas such as mathematics, did not measure higher-order cognitive domains but instead “measures less complex application of knowledge” (p. 319). This lack of NAEP's application of knowledge via measuring—for instance, problem-solving skills—is linked to multiplechoice- type tests used for accountability purposes under NCLB that do not allow for the assessment of student achievement with the following question: “What can students do with what they have learned?” (p. 319).


Student Achievement Limited English Proficiency American Educational Research Association Gain Score Predict Group Membership 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EducationNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of Instructional Technology & ResearchFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

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