Examining the Content and Context of the Common Core State Standards: A First Look at Implications for the National Assessment of Educational Progress

Since its inception more than four decades ago, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has served as a key indicator of what the nation’s students know and can do in academic subjects. NAEP assessments provide a mechanism for putting the achievements of students in all states on a common scale; the assessments also serve as independent monitors of progress, because they have no high-stakes consequences for schools or students

The recently developed Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been widely adopted by the states. These new standards, and the assessments being built to measure them, offer the possibility of far greater uniformity in curriculum and assessment across the nation than has characterized U.S. education in the past. In addition, the CCSS embody many emerging themes of education reform.

In this context, the NAEP Validity Studies Panel (NVS Panel) devoted a substantial portion of its annual validity research agenda in 2011 and 2012 to exploring the relationship between NAEP and the CCSS, and to considering how NAEP can work synergistically with the CCSS assessments to provide the nation with the most useful information about educational progress.

This volume includes two substantial studies exploring the relationship between the content of the NAEP mathematics, reading, and writing assessments and the CCSS in mathematics and English language arts (ELA). These two content studies are complemented by two shorter white papers that explore (1) the potential for incorporating learning progressions into NAEP assessments, and (2) the implications for the NAEP program of coming changes in psychometric approaches to statewide testing.

Fran Stancavage
Managing Researcher
Image of George Bohrnstedt
Senior Vice President and Institute Fellow