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ERIC Number: ED497520
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 58
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
Aligning Science Assessment Standards: Oklahoma and the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Issues & Answers. REL 2007-No. 022
Timms, Michael; Schneider, Steven; Lee, Cindy; Rolfhus, Eric
Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest (NJ1)
This policy research document is intended for Oklahoma policymakers to use when examining possible changes to the state assessment's alignment with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The 2009 NAEP test is not yet in existence, so the purpose of this report is to give policymakers a head start in determining where they might, if they so decide, begin to make changes in their assessment standards and specifications to develop an assessment system more closely aligned with that used for the NAEP. Reviewers found Oklahoma to be generally unaligned with the NAEP. Oklahoma's standards, on the whole, are less detailed and contain less content than the NAEP. The majority of the NAEP content statements are unaddressed by the content standards and objectives in Oklahoma's test specifications documents. In grade 4, 82 percent of the NAEP content statements are unaddressed by Oklahoma, in grade 8, 53 percent of the NAEP content statements are unaddressed, and in NAEP grade 12, 80 percent of the NAEP content statements are unaddressed. In addition, in all three comparisons, Oklahoma has only about 25 percent of the number of standards in the NAEP. Standards in the Oklahoma test specifications documents are simpler and more general than those of the NAEP. The average alignment rating for Oklahoma at grade 5 and the NAEP at grade 4 is 1.24, indicating a general nonalignment between Oklahoma and the NAEP. (A rating of 1 indicates no alignment and a rating of 3, full alignment.) At grade 8, the alignment rating is 1.53, indicating a level of alignment between nonalignment and partial alignment. At grade 12, the average alignment rating is 1.24, because the NAEP's physical science and earth and space science content areas are unaddressed by Oklahoma's biology standards. The overall alignment rating for the NAEP life science portion only was found to be 1.92, indicating partial alignment when physical science and Earth and space science are excluded. This report reveals current alignment issues between the state's tests and the future NAEP tests and may be important to policymakers considering revising science standards and assessments in line with No Child Left Behind requirements for state science tests in elementary, middle, and high schools. If state policymakers wish to increase the alignment between the state assessments and the NAEP, areas to consider are adding physical science and earth and space science to the high school examination and including a wider variety of test item types. Revising assessments requires considerable time and resources, so policymakers must consider their capacity to make changes and the degree to which such changes will benefit students. Reviewers commented that Oklahoma would do well to consider the scope of its standards alongside the standards of the NAEP and of other states to better understand the discrepancies in alignment. Reviewers at each of the three grade levels noted that despite the generality of Oklahoma's standards, the standards are well organized and the documents are easy to follow. Standards and test specifications represent the starting point for the development of tests and test items. In the ideal alignment study, state science assessments would be compared with NAEP assessments directly at the item level. At some future date, the NAEP 2009 assessment items may be available for such a study. Since the purpose of this report is to allow policymakers the opportunity to examine their alignment with NAEP before the test is implemented, no further research is suggested at this time. The following are appended: (1) The documents compared; (2) How the study was conducted; (3) Content alignment for grade 4; (4) Content alignment for grade 8; and (5) Content alignment for grade 12. (Contains 1 box, 4 figures, and 16 tables.) [This report was prepared for the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department ofucation by Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, formerly known as Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory (SEDL), administered by Edvance Research, Inc.]
Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest. Available from: Edvance Research. 9901 IH-10 West Suite 700, San Antonio, TX 78230. Tel: 877-338-2623; Fax: 210-558-4183; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 12; Grade 4; Grade 8
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
IES Funded: Yes