A Comparison of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Indiana Statewide Test of Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+)
ISTEP+ assessments are administered in Grades 3-8. ISTEP+ End-of-Course Assessments (ECAs) are administered in Algebra I, English 10, and Biology I.
NAEP state assessments are administered at Grades 4 and 8; national NAEP assessments also include Grade 12. Long-term, or Trend NAEP is a different test, which is administered to students at ages 9,13, and 17.
ISTEP+ assessments are administered in early March and late April through early May for grades 3-8; ECAs are administered during the following windows: Fall, Early Winter, Late Winter, Spring, and Summer.
NAEP state assessments are administered from late January to early March.
ISTEP+ results are reported to individual students, schools, corporations, and the state in mathematics, English/language arts, science and social studies.
NAEP results are reported to states and the nation in mathematics, reading, writing, science, civics, geography, foreign language, U.S. history, economics, and the arts. NAEP also conducts special studies, such as studies of high school transcripts or use of technology in schools.
ISTEP+ focuses on academic progress, or on the development of individual skills in key academic subjects.
NAEP focuses on changes in performance over time, or on the outcomes of good practices in key subject areas.
ISTEP+ is a standards-based, criterion-referenced test; results are interpreted based on established criteria for passing.
NAEP is a standards-based, norm-referenced test; results are interpreted based on national norms, or in comparison to other states and the nation.
ISTEP+ reports student performance as a scale score and as a corresponding achievement level labeled Pass+, Pass, or Did Not Pass.
NAEP reports state performance as a scale score and as a corresponding achievement level labeled Advanced, Proficient, Basic, or Below Basic.
ISTEP+ is a comprehensive, cumulative assessment, and each student completes all items in all subject areas assessed.
NAEP uses matrix sampling of subject content, and each student completes only a sample of the total test in one subject area.
ISTEP+ is aligned with content standards (Indiana Academic Standards) in all tested subjects. Test items are included because they measure standards from all grades prior to, and including, the tested grade (e.g., The Grade 6 test measures standards from K-6.)
NAEP is aligned with the National Assessment Governing Board's assessment standards (Frameworks) in all tested subjects. Test items are included because they measure standards at the grade level of interest (e.g., The Grade 8 test measures standards for that grade.) Because Frameworks are assessment standards, not curricular standards, they prescribe what will be tested, not what to teach.
ISTEP+ assesses reading and writing together, and each is part of the English/Language Arts Academic Standards.
NAEP reading and writing assessments are administered at different times, and NAEP Reading and NAEP Writing Frameworks are distinct documents.
ISTEP+ uses both authentic and commissioned text passages and data.
NAEP uses authentic text passages and data, printed in their entirety and taken from an existing source or document.
Both ISTEP+ and NAEP contain multiple-choice and open-ended/constructed-response items.
Indiana Academic Standards and the NAEP Frameworks are not precisely aligned, though there is a similar set of expectations in terms of what students should know and be able to do.