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ERIC Number: ED497521
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 61
Abstractor: ERIC
Aligning Science Standards: Arkansas and the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Issues & Answers. REL 2007-No. 019
Timms, Michael; Schneider, Steven; Lee, Cindy; Rolfhus, Eric
Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest (NJ1)
This policy research document is intended for Arkansas policymakers to use when examining possible changes to the Arkansas 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 create test specifications to develop an assessment system more closely aligned with that used for the NAEP. This report reveals alignment issues between the state's tests and future NAEP tests and may be important to those considering revising their science standards and assessments in line with No Child Left Behind requirements for state science tests in elementary, middle, and high schools. Revising assessments requires considerable time and resources, so policymakers must consider their capacity for making changes and the degree to which such changes will benefit students. The analysis uses the Arkansas Science Curriculum Frameworks for grades K-8 and for biology. The NAEP is administered to students in grades 4, 8, and 12, but Arkansas conducts statewide tests in grade 5, grade 7, and biology. Since the Arkansas standards for grade 5, grade 7, and biology were most likely to appear on state assessments, they were used to compare Arkansas standards with the NAEP standards. This study was designed to compare the NAEP and a corresponding state assessment framework. However, science specialists in Arkansas indicated that their statewide exams draw from the entire set of standards within the Science Curriculum Frameworks and thus this alignment was performed with the NAEP, which is an "assessment framework," and the Arkansas Science Curriculum Frameworks, which are designed to indicate what science should be taught at various grade levels. Standards and test specifications are the starting point for developing tests and test items. In the ideal alignment study state science assessments would be directly compared with NAEP assessments at the item level. The NAEP 2009 assessment items may someday be available for such a study. Since the purpose of this report is to allow policymakers to examine their alignment with NAEP before the test is implemented, no further research is suggested. The following are appended: (1) The documents compared; (2) How the study was conducted; (3) Content alignment table for grade 4; (4) Content alignment for grade 8; and (5) Content alignment for grade 12. (Contains 1 box, 3 figures, and 12 tables.) [This report was prepared for the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education 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 5; Grade 7; Grade 8
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
IES Funded: Yes