White Paper: NAEP Framework and Trend Considerations

Lorrie Shepard, University of Colorado Boulder

Two critically important features of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) are its subject-matter frameworks and its reporting of trends or changes in achievement over time. The purpose of this white paper is to provide the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), and the NAEP research and policy community with a summary of issues and evidence affecting framework and trend policies.

The central argument of the paper, consistent with the recommendations from several expert panels (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [NASEM], 2022; NCES, 2012; National Academy of Education [NAEd], 1992), is that NAGB should develop an explicit policy to enable a more “evolutionary” approach to framework revisions. Such a policy would protect trend and, at the same time, ensure the relevance of construct representation by providing for ongoing, incremental revisions to frameworks.

Principal Researcher