Aligning Science Assessment Standards: New Mexico and the National Assessment of Educational Progress NAEP. Issues and Answers. REL 2007-No. 021Reportar como inadecuado

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Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest (NJ1)

This policy research document is intended for New Mexico 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. Overall, reviewers found New Mexico's science assessment framework to be fairly well aligned with the NAEP framework. For grade 4, all NAEP content items are to some degree addressed by New Mexico's science assessment framework, with no ratings of 1 and an overall alignment rating of 2.2 (a rating of 1 indicates no alignment and a rating of 3, full alignment). For grade 8 the majority of NAEP content statements are partially aligned with the content in the New Mexico science assessment framework, and the overall alignment rating is 2.1, mostly because the NAEP standards typically contain more detail and more specific content than the corresponding New Mexico standards. In the comparison with NAEP grade 12, New Mexico was given an overall alignment rating of 2.3, indicating a fairly high degree of alignment; only two NAEP content statements are not addressed by corresponding New Mexico standards. A rating of partial alignment between New Mexico and the NAEP was due primarily to reviewers finding that the state often implied content that was stated explicitly by the NAEP and that the NAEP often provided more specific content items or more detail. However, reviewers believed that New Mexico was, on the whole, fairly well aligned with the NAEP. This report reveals current alignment issues between the state's tests and the future NAEP tests and may be important to policymakers who are 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 increasing earth and space science coverage in grade 8 and including a wider variety of test item types, such as hands-on and interactive computer tasks. 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. The New Mexico test blueprints ensure that testing student knowledge and skills does not rely solely on multiple-choice items by including short and longer constructed-response items. That enables a wider range of knowledge types to be tested than with multiple-choice alone. New Mexico breaks down the content differently from the NAEP (by number of items and number of points), so it is hard to directly compare the relative amounts of testing time devoted to each topic. However, when focusing just on the three topics tested in the NAEP, the New Mexico blueprints are fairly similar to the NAEP at grades 4 and 8, although in grade 8 the NAEP devotes more time to earth and space science than New Mexico does. Comparisons for high school could not be completed, because the grade 11 New Mexico Standards Based Assessment (NMSBA) will not be given until the 2007/08 school year. Overall, there is a reasonable match between the New Mexico test blueprints and the NAEP assessment and item specifications. 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. The following are appended: (1) The documents compared; (2) How the study was conducted; (3) Content alignment table for grade 4; (4) Content alignment table 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 of Education by Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, formerly known as Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory (SEDL), administered by Edvance Research, Inc.]

Descriptors: Science Tests, National Competency Tests, National Standards, State Standards, Academic Standards, Elementary Secondary Education, Science Education, Student Evaluation, Federal Legislation, Testing, Benchmarking, Grade 4, Grade 8, Grade 12

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: tassistance[at]; Web site:

Autor: Timms, Michael; Schneider, Steven; Lee, Cindy; Rolfhus, Eric


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