NAEP 12th Grade Preparedness Research
For the past decade, the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) has been studying the use of the National Assessment of Educational Progress as an indicator of whether students are academically prepared for education and job training opportunities after high school.
- Summary Report
- In 2013, the Governing Board completed Phase I, examining whether NAEP Grade 12 data could serve as an indicator of preparedness for education and job training opportunities after high school. In addition to the Summary Report, a report on lessons learned related to job training is provided here.
- Approved NAGB Motion
- On August 3, 2013, the Governing Board adopted a motion approving NAEP reporting on 12th grade academic preparedness for college.
- Validity Argument
- The Governing Board approved the motion based on a careful review of the validity argument for 12th grade academic preparedness for college.
- 8th Grade Report
- As part of Phase II of the 12th grade preparedness research, the Governing Board extended its research program to the 8th grade to evaluate to what extent grade 8 students are on track for being academically prepared by the end of high school. Two types of studies were conducted: content alignment and statistical relationship.
Grade 12 is a critical transition point for American students. After graduates leave high school, they may enter college, training, or the workforce, but many find their next steps difficult, as measured by high college remediation and dropout rates, and unemployment.
For the past decade the Governing Board has been working to study NAEP’s potential for use as an indicator of whether students are academically prepared for education and job training opportunities after high school.
As a first step, the Board established a blue-ribbon commission, which recommended in 2004 that NAEP report on the preparedness of 12th graders for college, job training, and the military. The NAEP 12th Grade Preparedness Commission declared:
“America needs to know how well prepared its high school seniors are to become productive citizens and compete in a global economy....Only the
National Assessment of Educational Progress can provide this information—for the nation and states—and it is necessary for our nation’s continued well-being that it be provided.”
In 2006, with this goal in mind, the Governing Board approved changes in NAEP 12th grade assessment frameworks for reading and mathematics. In 2008, a Board- appointed expert panel recommended a series of preparedness research studies. The first state-level 12th grade NAEP was conducted in 2009, and since that time the Board sponsored more than 30 studies based on the panel’s recommendations. Results of these studies represent the first cycle of the Board’s preparedness research.
Most of the studies make use of the NAEP 2009 assessments in reading and mathematics—their frameworks, test items, and results, both nationwide and for a state representative sample of 12th grade Florida students participating in NAEP.
The preparedness research falls into five areas:
- Content comparisons and alignment between NAEP and widely used examinations for college admissions, post-secondary course placement, and workplace skills.
- Statistical relationship studies that link performance on NAEP to other relevant tests and postsecondary outcomes.
- A nationally representative survey of the tests and cut scores used for placement in remedial courses at two-year and four-year colleges.
- Judgmental standard setting by expert panels to determine the NAEP scores that represent the knowledge and skills needed to qualify for job training programs or for entry-level college credit courses without remediation.
- Benchmarking studies in which NAEP assessments are given to reference groups of interest. These reference groups may include college freshmen, as in a 2010 pilot study.
The study results are to be used as validity evidence to support statements about student academic preparedness in NAEP reports. By looking across a range of studies, the program of preparedness research enables the Board to evaluate the degree to which the results are mutually confirming or disconfirming.