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About the Geography Assessment

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2010 geography assessment was designed to measure students' knowledge of geography in the context of space and place, environment and society, and spatial dynamics and connections. Comparing the results from the 2010 assessment to results from two previous assessment years (1994 and 2001) shows how students' knowledge and skills in geography have changed over time.

The results from the 2010 geography assessment are based on nationally representative samples of public and nonpublic (private and Bureau of Indian Education schools) school students at grades 4, 8, and 12. In 2010, results are disaggregated for students attending private schools at grade 8 only because participation of students attending private schools at grades 4 and 12 was not sufficient to permit reporting. See more about the definition of school types. Unlike NAEP assessments in other subjects such as reading, mathematics, and science, the geography assessment was not designed to report results for individual states.

No accommodations were provided in the first NAEP geography assessment in 1994. Because providing accommodations represented a change in testing conditions that could potentially affect the measurement of changes over time, split samples of students were assessed nationally in 2001. One sample permitted accommodations, and the other did not. Although the results for both samples are presented in the tables and figures, the comparisons to 2001 in the text are based on just the accommodated samples.

The geography assessment was developed and reviewed by a committee of geography and measurement experts to capture the goals of the Geography Framework. The National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the development of NAEP frameworks, incorporated the expertise of many individuals involved in geography and education when developing the framework.

The series of tables on the student population and sampleschool and student participation rates, and inclusion of students with disabilities and English language learners provide context for interpreting the results of the assessment. Read the NAEP inclusion policy to learn more about NAEP accommodations and the history of the policy.

Learn more about procedures used as part of the 2010 geography assessment: