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About the Mathematics Assessment

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2009 mathematics assessment was designed to measure students' knowledge of mathematics and their ability to apply that knowledge in problem-solving situations.

Results are reported for the nation, states, and participating urban districts at fourth and eighth grade. At the national level, results are presented for students in public and nonpublic schools, while state and district results are for public school students only. At twelfth grade, results are reported for a national sample and for 11 states that voluntarily participated in a pilot state assessment. The 11 states that volunteered to participate are Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Various reasons were cited by NAEP state coordinators for participating in the pilot program.  These included using NAEP results as a common yardstick for comparing twelfth-grade students in their state to students in the nation and in other pilot states, and establishing a benchmark for how their students are performing at the end of their high school careers.

For 2009, the National Assessment Governing Board adopted a new mathematics framework for grade 12. Although the new framework was adopted for 2009, results of special analyses determined that the 2009 grade 12 mathematics results could be compared to results from the 2005 assessment, but not to results from previous assessments, which were developed under the guidance of an earlier framework. Read a summary of the special analysis.

The mathematics assessment was developed and reviewed by a committee of mathematics and measurement experts to capture the goals of the mathematics framework. The Governing Board, through a comprehensive national process involving mathematics teachers, researchers, measurement experts, policymakers, and members of the general public, created the framework, which describes the goals of the assessment and the kinds of exercises it ought to feature. The Mathematics Standing Committee was instrumental in the development of the assessment.

The series of tables on the student population and sample, school 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 2009 mathematics assessment:

Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in Mathematics

Representative samples of between 1,800 and 4,300 fourth- and eighth-grade public school students from 18 urban districts participated in the 2009 assessment. The 11 districts listed below participated in the 2007 and 2005 assessments, and 10 participated in 2003 (Austin did not participate in 2003).

Atlanta Public Schools
Austin Independent School District
Boston Public Schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Chicago Public Schools
Cleveland Metropolitan School District

District of Columbia Public Schools
Houston Independent School District
Los Angeles Unified School District
New York City Department of Education
San Diego Unified School District

The following seven districts participated for the first time in 2009:

Baltimore City Public Schools
Detroit Public Schools
Fresno Unified School District
Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville, KY)

Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools
School District of Philadelphia

Just as the national public sample is used as a benchmark for comparing results for states, results for urban districts are compared to results from large cities nationwide. Results for large cities include public schools located in cities with populations of 250,000 or more throughout the United States within metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget. It is not synonymous with "inner city." Schools in participating TUDA districts are also included in the results for large cities, even though some districts (Austin, Charlotte, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami-Dade) include some schools not classified as large city schools.

Comparability of the 2007 and 2009 Samples

Some charter schools that operate within the geographic boundaries of a school district are independent of the district and are not included in the districts' Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report to the U.S. Department of Education under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Beginning in 2009, charter schools of this type were no longer included in the results for TUDA districts as they had been in past NAEP assessments.

School districts vary in whether the charter schools within their boundaries are independent of the districts. In 2007, charter schools were included in the TUDA district results if they were listed as part of the district's Local Education Agency in the NCES Common Core of Data. In 2009, charter schools are included in TUDA district results if they contribute to the district's AYP results as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

This change had little or no impact on the 2007–09 average score differences of the TUDA districts, except for the District of Columbia Public Schools at grade 8. The District of Columbia's 2007 grade 8 sample included 20 charter schools. All charter schools in the District of Columbia are independent of the school district, and none were included in their TUDA sample in 2009. The change in scores for the District of Columbia Public Schools that would have resulted from using comparable sample frames, i.e., excluding charter schools from the NAEP sample in both years, would have resulted in a statistically significant increase from 244 in 2007 to 251 in 2009, rather than the nonsignificant change from 248 to 251 shown on the Grade 8 District Results page.