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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.

Phase I

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.

Phase II

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.

Introduction

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:

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. 

Additional research related to 12th grade preparedness is available here.