StateReport Massachusetts Grades 4 and 8 Public Schools



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Reading 2009
S t a t e R e p o r t

Massachusetts

Grades 4 and 8

Public Schools



This report provides selected results for Massachusetts' public school students at grades 4 and 8 from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment in reading. Results are reported by average scale scores and by achievement levels (Basic, Proficient, and Advanced).


State-level results in reading are available for eight assessment years (at grade 4 in 1992 and

1994, and at both grades 4 and 8 in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009), although not all states may have participated or met the criteria for reporting in every year. All 50 states,

the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools (DoDEA) participated in the 2009 reading assessment at grades 4 and 8. For the first time in 2009, grade 12 reading results are also available at the state level. Eleven states volunteered for the assessment and all 11 met the reporting criteria. Grade 12 results are released a few months following the grade 4 and 8 results.

For more information about the assessment, see the NAEP website http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ which contains

The Nation's Report Card, Reading 2009

• The full set of national and state results in an interactive database

• Released test questions, scoring guides, and question-level performance data


NAEP is a project of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), reporting on the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students in the United States.
KEY FINDINGS FOR 2009
Grade 4:

 In 2009, the average reading score for fourth-grade students in Massachusetts was 234. This was higher than that of the nation's public schools (220).

 The average score for students in Massachusetts in 2009 (234) was higher than that in 1992 (226) and was not significantly different from that in 2007 (236).

 In 2009, the percentage of students in Massachusetts who performed at or above Proficient was 47 percent.

This was greater than that for the nation's public schools (32 percent).

 The percentage of students in Massachusetts who performed at or above Proficient in 2009 (47 percent) was greater than that in 1992 (36 percent) and was not significantly different from that in 2007 (49 percent).

 In 2009, the percentage of students in Massachusetts who performed at or above Basic was 80 percent.

This was greater than that for the nation's public schools (66 percent).

 The percentage of students in Massachusetts who performed at or above Basic in 2009 (80 percent) was greater than that in 1992 (74 percent) and was not significantly different from that in 2007 (81 percent).

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NAEP 2009 Reading Report for Massachusetts (Embargoed)
Grade 8:

 In 2009, the average reading score for eighth-grade students in Massachusetts was 274. This was higher than that of the nation's public schools (262).

 The average score for students in Massachusetts in 2009 (274) was higher than that in 1998 (269) and was

not significantly different from that in 2007 (273).

 In 2009, the percentage of students in Massachusetts who performed at or above Proficient was 43 percent.

This was greater than that for the nation's public schools (30 percent).

 The percentage of students in Massachusetts who performed at or above Proficient in 2009 (43 percent) was greater than that in 1998 (38 percent) and was not significantly different from that in 2007 (43 percent).

 In 2009, the percentage of students in Massachusetts who performed at or above Basic was 83 percent.

This was greater than that for the nation's public schools (74 percent).

 The percentage of students in Massachusetts who performed at or above Basic in 2009 (83 percent) was greater than that in 1998 (79 percent) and was not significantly different from that in 2007 (84 percent).


The U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has provided software that generated user-selectable data, statistical significance test result statements, and technical descriptions of the NAEP assessments for this report. Content may be added or edited by states or other jurisdictions. This document, therefore, is not an official publication of the National Center for Education Statistics.

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NAEP 2009 Reading Report for Massachusetts (Embargoed)

Introduction
What Was Assessed?
The content for each NAEP assessment is determined by the National Assessment Governing Board. The framework for each assessment documents the content and process areas to be measured and sets guidelines for the types of questions to be used. The development process for the reading framework required the active participation of teachers, curriculum specialists, subject-matter specialists, local school administrators, parents, and other members of the general public. The current framework is available at the Governing Board's website http://www.nagb.org/publications/frameworks/reading09.pdf.
The current NAEP reading framework approved by the Governing Board replaces the framework that guided the 1992 reading assessment and subsequent reading assessments through 2007. Based on results from special analyses, it was determined that even with a new framework, the results from the 2009 reading assessment could still be compared to those from earlier assessment years. A summary of these analyses is available on the Web

at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/reading/trend_study.asp.


Types of Text

The framework calls for the use of both literary and informational texts in the reading assessment. Literary texts include three types at each grade: fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. Informational texts include expositional, argumentative/persuasive, and procedural texts. The inclusion of distinct text types is aligned with the framework definition of reading, which recognizes that students read different texts for different purposes.

Literary texts (all three types at each grade)
 Fiction

Literary nonfiction

 Poetry
Informational text
 Expositional

 Argumentation and Persuasive Text

 Procedural Texts and Documents
Cognitive Targets
All reading questions are aligned to cognitive reading behaviors applicable to both literary and informational text. The framework specifies three reading behaviors, or cognitive targets: locate/recall, integrate/interpret, and critique/evaluate. The term cognitive target refers to the mental processes or kinds of thinking that underlie reading comprehension.
Locate and Recall: When locating or recalling information from what they have read, students may identify explicitly stated main ideas or may focus on specific elements of a story.

Integrate and Interpret: When integrating and interpreting what they have read, students may make

comparisons, explain character motivation, or examine relations of ideas across the text.

Critique and Evaluate: When critiquing or evaluating what they have read, students view the text critically by examining it from numerous perspectives or may evaluate overall text quality or the effectiveness of particular aspects of the text.

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In addition, the framework calls for a systematic assessment of mea
ning vocabulary. Meaning vocabulary items function as both a measure of passage comprehension and a test of readers' knowledge of specific word meaning as used in the passage by the author.

Assessment Design
The assessment contains reading materials that were drawn from sources commonly available to students both in and out of the school environment. These authentic materials were considered to be representative of students' typical reading experiences. Each student in the state assessment was asked to complete two 25-minute

sections, each consisting of a reading passage and associated comprehension questions. A combination of multiple-choice and constructed-response questions was used to assess students' understanding of the passages. Released NAEP reading passages and questions, along with student performance data by state, are



available on the NAEP website at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/itmrls/.

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NAEP 2009 Reading Report for Massachusetts (Embargoed)
Who Was Assessed?
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Schools participated in the 2009 reading assessment at grades 4 and 8. For the first time in 2009, grade 12 reading results are also available at the state level. Eleven states volunteered for the assessment and all 11 met the reporting criteria: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

The overall participation rates for schools and students must meet guidelines established by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the National Assessment Governing Board for assessment results to be reported publicly. A participation rate of at least 85 percent for schools in each subject and grade was required. Participation rates for the 2009 reading assessment are available on the NAEP website http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_2009/participation.asp.

The schools and students participating in NAEP assessments are selected to be representative both nationally and for public schools at the state level. The comparisons between national and state results in this report present the performance of public school students only. In NAEP reports, the category "nation (public)" does not include Department of Defense or Bureau of Indian Education schools.

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NAEP 2009 Reading Report for Massachusetts (Embargoed)
How Is Student Reading Performance Reported?
The 2009 state results are compared to results from seven earlier assessments at grade 4 and from five earlier assessments at grade 8. At grade 12, state results are available for 2009 only.
Scale Scores: Student performance is reported as an average score based on the NAEP reading scale, which ranges from 0 to 500 for grades 4 and 8, and from 0 to 500 for grade 12. Because NAEP scales are developed independently for each subject and for each content area within a subject, the scores cannot be compared across subjects or across content areas within the same subject. Results are also reported at five percentiles (10th, 25th,

50th, 75th, and 90th) to show trends in performance for lower-, middle-, and higher-performing students.

Achievement Levels: Based on recommendations from policymakers, educators, and members of the general public, the Governing Board sets specific achievement levels for each subject area and grade. Achievement levels are performance standards indicating what students should know and be able to do. They provide another

perspective with which to interpret student performance. NAEP results are reported in terms of three achievement levels—Basic, Proficient, and Advanced—and are expressed in terms of the percentage of students who attained each level. The three achievement levels are defined as follows:

Basic denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade.

Proficient represents solid academic performance for each grade assessed. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, including subject-matter knowledge, application of such knowledge to real-world situations, and appropriate analytical skills.

Advanced represents superior performance.
The achievement levels are cumulative; therefore, students performing at the Proficient level also display the competencies associated with the Basic level, and students at the Advanced level also demonstrate the competencies associated with both the Basic and the Proficient levels.
As provided by law, NCES, upon review of congressionally mandated evaluations of NAEP, has determined that achievement levels are to be used on a trial basis and should be interpreted with caution. The NAEP achievement levels have been widely used by national and state officials. The reading achievement-level descriptions are summarized in figures 1-A and 1-B.

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Figure

1-A

The Nation's Report Card 2009 State Assessment

Descriptions of fourth-grade achievement levels for 2009 NAEP reading assessment




Basic Level (208)

Fourth-grade students performing at the Basic level should be able to locate relevant information, make simple inferences, and use their understanding of the text to identify details that support a given interpretation or conclusion. Students should be able to interpret the meaning of a word as



it is used in the text.

When reading literary texts such as fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, fourth-grade students performing at the Basic level should be able to make simple inferences about characters, events, plot, and setting. They should be able to identify a problem in a story and relevant information that supports an interpretation of a text.

When reading informational texts such as articles and excerpts from books, fourth-grade students performing at the Basic level should be able to identify the main purpose and an explicitly stated main idea, as well as gather information from various parts of a text to provide supporting information.



Proficient Level (238)
Fourth-grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to integrate and interpret texts and apply their understanding of the text to draw conclusions and make evaluations.

When reading literary texts such as fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, fourth-grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to identify implicit main ideas and recognize relevant information that supports them. Students should be able to judge elements of an author's craft and provide some support for their

judgment. They should be able to analyze character roles, actions, feelings, and motivations.

When reading informational texts such as articles and excerpts from books, fourth-grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to locate relevant information, integrate information across texts, and evaluate the way an author presents information. Student performance at this level should demonstrate an understanding

of the purpose for text features and an ability to integrate information from headings, text boxes, and graphics and their captions. They should be able to explain a simple cause-and-effect relationship and draw conclusions.



Advanced Level (268)
Fourth-grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to make complex inferences and construct and support their inferential understanding of the text. Students should be able to apply their understanding of a text to make and support a judgment.

When reading literary texts such as fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, fourth-grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to identify the theme in stories and poems and make complex inferences about characters' traits, feelings, motivations, and actions. They should be able to recognize characters' perspectives and evaluate characters' motivations. Students should be able to interpret characteristics of poems and evaluate aspects of text organization.



When reading informational texts such as articles and excerpts from books, fourth-grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to make complex inferences about main ideas and supporting ideas. They should be able to express a judgment about the text and about text features and support the judgments with evidence. They should be able to identify the most likely cause given an effect, explain an author's point of view, and compare ideas across two texts.

NOTE: The scores in parentheses indicate the lowest point on the scale at which the achievement-level range begins.

SOURCE: National Assessment Governing Board. (2006). Reading Framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: Author.

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Figure

1-B

The Nation's Report Card 2009 State Assessment
Descriptions of eighth-grade achievement levels for 2009 NAEP reading assessment



Basic Level (243)

Eighth-grade students performing at the Basic level should be able to locate information; identify statements of main idea, theme, or author's purpose; and make simple inferences from texts. They should be able to interpret the meaning of a word as it is used in the text. Students performing at this level should also be able to state judgments and give some support about content and presentation of content.

When reading literary texts such as fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, eighth-grade students performing at the Basic level should recognize major themes and be able to identify, describe, and make simple inferences about setting and about character motivations, traits, and experiences. They should be able to state and provide some support for judgments about the way an author presents content and about character motivation.

When reading informational texts such as exposition and argumentation, eighth-grade students performing at the Basic level should be able to recognize inferences based on main ideas and supporting details. They should be able to locate and provide relevant facts to construct general statements about information from the text. Students should be able to provide some support for judgments about the way information is presented.

Eighth-grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to provide relevant


Proficient Level (281)

information and summarize main ideas and themes. They should be able to make and support inferences about a text, connect parts of a text, and analyze text features. Students performing at this level should also be able to fully substantiate judgments about content and presentation of content.


When reading literary texts such as fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, eighth-grade students performing at

the Proficient level should be able to make and support a connection between characters from two parts of a text. They should be able to recognize character actions and infer and support character feelings. Students performing at this level should be able to provide and support judgments about characters' motivations across texts. They should be able to identify how figurative language is used.

When reading informational texts such as exposition and argumentation, eighth-grade students performing at

the Proficient level should be able to locate and provide facts and relevant information that support a main idea or purpose, interpret causal relations, provide and support a judgment about the author's argument or stance, and

recognize rhetorical devices.


Eighth-grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to make connections

Advanced Level (323)

within and across texts and to explain causal relations. They should be able to evaluate and justify the strength of supporting evidence and the quality of an author's presentation. Students performing at the Advanced level also should be able to manage the processing demands of analysis and evaluation by stating, explaining, and justifying.

When reading literary texts such as fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry, eighth-grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to explain the effects of narrative events. Within or across texts, they should be able to make thematic connections and make inferences about characters' feelings, motivations, and experiences.



When reading informational texts such as exposition and argumentation, eighth-grade students performing at the Advanced level should be able to infer and explain a variety of connections that are intratextual (such as the relation between specific information and the main idea) or intertextual (such as the relation of ideas across expository and argument texts). Within and across texts, students should be able to state and justify judgments about text features, choice of content, and the author's use of evidence and rhetorical devices.
NOTE: The scores in parentheses indicate the lowest point on the scale at which the achievement-level range begins.

SOURCE: National Assessment Governing Board. (2006). Reading Framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: Author.

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