Superintendent’s Memo #326-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

December 14, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Optional Below-State NAEP Program

Results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are typically reported only at the national or state level.  However, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has announced the opportunity for school divisions and consortia of schools to participate in “Below-State NAEP.”  Below-State NAEP participants must agree to follow all NAEP standards, procedures, and technical requirements and pay for the costs of all activities associated with the assessment.  In 2014, NAEP will be conducting assessments in U.S. history, civics, and geography in grades 4, 8, and 12.

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 information below identifies the minimum requirements for participation in Below-State NAEP:

Participating entities will receive Below-State NAEP results in the form of: 1) a school division report, including a one-page snapshot report;  2) division comparison table providing comparisons between the entity and the divisions participating in the Trial Urban Division Assessment; and  3) a raw data file.  All divisions will receive an electronic data file of raw, unweighted student records.  If divisions do not meet NAEP’s school and student participation requirements, they may only receive the raw data file.

The cost for participation is based on activities related to sampling and data collection; materials preparation, distribution, 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 order to be considered for Below-State NAEP participation, each entity must submit the following to NCES:

For the 2014 NAEP assessment cycle, NCES reserves the right to limit the number of participants in Below-State NAEP.  Each entity will enter into a contract with the NAEP contractors responsible for sampling and data collection; materials preparation, distribution, and scoring; and analysis and reporting.

For more information on the requirements and application process of Below-State NAEP, 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) 225-2102.

PIW/SLR/WG/cd

Attachments:

  1. An Overview of Below-State NAEP 2014 (PDF)
  2. Technical Specifications for the Conduct of Below-State NAEP 2014 (PDF)
  3. Instructions for the Below-State NAEP Request Form 2014 (PDF)
  4. Below-State NAEP Request Form 2014 (PDF)