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Resolution on the NAEP 2009 Reading Framework

Unanimously adopted by the National Assessment Governing Board
August 6, 2004

Whereas, reading is the critical skill students use for learning in all parts of the curriculum, and

Whereas, the ability to read critically and analytically is crucial for effective participation in America's democratic society, and

Whereas, the National Assessment Governing Board has engaged in a 20-month effort to develop a new Reading Framework that involved hundreds of researchers, teachers, policymakers, state curriculum and testing experts, and business and public representatives, and

Whereas, the Board's contractor for this project—the American Institutes for Research—conducted the process in a comprehensive, inclusive, and deliberative manner, and

Whereas, the Framework process made use of international reading assessments and exemplary state standards, and

Whereas, the Reading Framework is based on current scientific research in reading, but does not endorse a particular approach to reading instruction, and

Whereas, the Governing Board convened an independent external review panel comprised of eminent reading scholars, authors, and curriculum specialists to analyze the Framework's research base and design; and the panel's recommendations have been incorporated into the Framework document, and

Now, therefore, the National Assessment Governing Board hereby adopts the 2009 NAEP Reading Framework, which includes the following key provisions:

  1. The Reading Framework will serve as the basis for developing the new 2009 NAEP Reading Assessment to be administered at the national, state, and district levels. The 2009 NAEP Reading assessment will establish a new trendline using new items and the highest quality literary and informational passages.

  2. The assessment will measure reading comprehension at grades 4, 8, and 12 by asking students to read passages written in English and to answer questions about what they have read.

  3. The preliminary achievement level descriptions set forth in the Framework will be used to guide item development. The proficient and advanced levels reflect rigorous reading and analytical skills needed by students at grades 4, 8, and 12.

  4. The assessment will test word meanings in context. There will be sufficient vocabulary items to report useful information on the extent of vocabulary knowledge.

  5. Passages on the assessment will be high-quality literary and informational text, representing the type of reading material students encounter both in and out of school. Poetry will be tested at all three grade levels.

  6. Multiple-choice and constructed-response items will be included at all grades to measure the breadth of reading skills illustrated by the cognitive targets: locate/recall, integrate/interpret, and critique/evaluate.

  7. Achievement will be reported on an overall cross-grade scale, allowing NAEP to show the development of reading skills through the years of schooling as well as reporting trends over time.

  8. Separate cross-grade subscales will be reported for literary and informational texts, similar to the scales used on international reading assessments.

  9. The special study on vocabulary will be conducted prior to 2009, to inform the development of vocabulary items on the operational assessment. Two other special studies on English language learners and gender differences, listed in priority order, should be conducted if resources permit.

The Governing Board hopes that this Reading Framework will serve not only as an important means to report on reading achievement, but also as a catalyst to improve reading for the benefit of our students and our nation.