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Participation Rates in U.S. History

To ensure unbiased samples, participation rates for the original sample need to be at least 85 percent for schools to meet reporting requirements established by NCES and the Governing Board. Because the participation rate for grade 12 public schools was below 85 percent, an analysis was performed examining the potential for nonresponse bias introduced through school nonresponse. The results showed that school substitution and nonresponse adjustments were effective in reducing the observable nonresponse bias.

A NAEP/Governing Board reporting rule requires a 70 percent initial school participation rate in order to report data separately for public and private schools. While participation rate standards were met for public schools at all three grades, they were not met for private schools at grades 8 and 12; therefore results are only reported at grade 4. Participation rates for Catholic schools, which are included within the private category, did meet reporting standards at grades 4 and 8. Performance data for Catholic schools at grades 4 and 8 are available in the NAEP Data Explorer.

National school and student participation rates in NAEP U.S. history, by grade and type of school: 2006
    School participation Student participation
    Student-weighted School-weighted Number of schools participating after substitution Student-
Number of students assessed
Grade Type of school Percent
before substitution
4    Nation 91 93 88 91 330 95 6,500
Public 93 94 94 95 290 95 5,900
Private 70 77 68 77 40 96 500
8    Nation 91 93 85 89 450 92 11,400
Public 94 94 94 95 390 92 10,400
Private 63 78 70 78 60 96 1,000
12    Nation 80 84 80 83 570 73 11,300
Public 83 87 90 92 510 72 10,000
Private 46 56 55 62 60 87 1,300
NOTE: The national totals for schools include Department of Defense Education Activity (overseas and domestic schools) and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, which are not included in either the public or private totals. The national totals for students include students in these schools. The numbers of schools are rounded to the nearest ten, and the numbers of students are rounded to the nearest hundred.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2006 U.S. History Assessment.

The student-weighted school participation rates are calculated based on the estimated number of students represented by either the initially selected schools that participated in the assessment (before substitution) or the participating schools, whether originally selected or selected as a substitute for a school that chose not to participate (after substitution). The school-weighted school participation rates are calculated based on the estimated number of schools either before or after substitutions.

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