he board that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress has revised the blueprint for the 12th grade mathematics version of the influential exam, in an attempt to make the test better reflect the skills that students need for college and highly skilled jobs.
The changes, approved Aug. 4, are expected to make the math test more challenging in some areas, through the addition of more-complex algebraic concepts, trigonometry, and a stronger emphasis on mathematical reasoning and problem-solving, officials associated with the board say. Those revisions could also shape individual states’ math standards, which are often influenced by the content of the NAEP frameworks.
The National Assessment Governing Board, the independent entity that directs NAEP, unanimously agreed to make the changes at its quarterly meeting here. The board has spent about two years on the project.
“What we’re doing here is not unique to NAEP. It is what society is demanding,” said Sharif M. Shakrani, a professor of psychometric testing at Michigan State University in East Lansing, who consulted on changes to the framework. “We need to judge what students know and where they are weak.”