Superintendent's Memo #339-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

December 18, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Optional Below-State NAEP Program

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will be making National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results below the state level available for school divisions and consortiums of schools that choose to participate in Below-State NAEP. Below-State NAEP participants must agree to follow all NAEP standards, procedures, and technical requirements and to pay for the costs of all activities associated with the assessment.

The following entities may apply for participation in Below-State NAEP:

In order to provide statistically reliable and comparable results, each entity participating in Below-State NAEP will be subject to all NAEP standards, procedures, and technical requirements consistent with the national and state NAEP. The following information identifies the minimum requirements for participation in Below-State NAEP:

Participating entities will receive Below-State NAEP results in the form of: 1) a district report, including a one-page snapshot report and 2) district comparison tables providing comparisons between the entity and the districts participating in the Trial Urban District Assessment. Subgroup performance will be available only if there are at least 62 students from at least 5 separate schools included in the student sample. All districts will receive an electronic data file of raw, unweighted student records. If districts do not meet NAEP’s school and student participation data requirements, they may only receive the raw data file.

The computation of costs is based on activities related to sampling and data collection; materials distribution, processing and scoring; and analysis and reporting and is dependent upon factors such as the number of schools, students, and subjects to be included in the assessment. In the past, the anticipated costs have ranged from $297,000 to $673,000 per participating entity dependent on the subjects, grade levels requested, and the number of schools and students required for participation.

To be considered for Below-State NAEP participation, each entity must submit the following:

For the 2011 NAEP assessment cycle, NCES reserves the right to limit the number of participants in Below-State NAEP. Upon notification of selection, each entity will enter into a contract with the NAEP contractors responsible for sampling and data collection; materials distribution, processing and scoring; and analysis and reporting.

For more information on the requirements and application process of the optional Below-State NAEP program, please refer to the attached overview of Below-State NAEP, instructions, request form, and Technical Specifications for the Conduct of Below-State NAEP.

To view the assessment schedule for national and state NAEP from 2008 through 2017, please go to http://www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/about/assessmentsched.asp. For inquiries on Below-State NAEP, please contact Gina Broxterman, NCES Below-State Coordinator, at: Gina.Broxterman@ed.gov or 202-502-7822 or Dr. Wendy Geiger, Virginia NAEP State Coordinator, at Wendy.Geiger@doe.virginia.gov or 804-225-2918.

PIW/SLR/WG/aw

Attachments:

  1. An Overview of Below-State NAEP 2011 (PDF)
  2. Technical Specifications for the Conduct of Below-State NAEP 2011 (PDF)
  3. Instructions for the Below-State NAEP Request Form 2011 (PDF)
  4. Below-State NAEP Request Form 2011 (PDF)