The National Assessment of Educational Progress which is also known as the Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) is “the largest ongoing assessment of what U.S. students know and can do.” The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) recently released a draft of the NAEP Reading Assessment Framework for the general public to review and provide feedback from June 22 to July 23, 2020. The framework focuses on what U.S. students should know and can do in 2025 and beyond. 

To support NAEP - a congressionally mandated independent measure of student achievement, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) worked with NAGB and other organizations to cohost a webinar on July 16, 2020. One goal of the webinar was to inform the general public of this update, elaborate on its impact on NAEP outcomes, and encourage school leaders, parents, and other stakeholders to review and comment on the new reading framework. 

Why school leaders should be concerned about students’ reading in 2025 and beyond 

Research suggests that reading is the most important life skill. However, national and international assessment data show an unsettling picture of the U.S. students’ reading level. School leaders are challenged by this reality. 

 In the 2019 NAEP, average reading scores for 4th and 8th graders in the U.S. have dropped since 2017.

  • In the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) reading literacy, 15-year-olds in the United States scored higher than the average of countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but lower than countries such as Finland, Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
  • In the 2017 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a cyclical, large-scale study that was developed under the auspices of OECD, 17.5% of the U.S. adults scored at the lowest levels in literacy.

How the 2025 Reading Framework is relevant to our schools

NAEP Frameworks are written for educators, policymakers, and the public, according to NAGB. The new reading framework is described as having been developed through a comprehensive, inclusive, and deliberative process by the visioning and development panels. These panels consisted of a wide range of stakeholders, such as teachers, content specialists, and policymakers. The update emphasizes students’ social and cultural experiences and the role of technology in students’ learning environments.

  • The 2025 NAEP Reading Framework greatly expands text types and textual environments, including multimedia texts and digital forms of text that require navigation and comprehension skills.
  • The 2025 NAEP Reading Framework accounts for students’ background knowledge and supports students to engage in reading through methods such as scaffolding and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
  • The 2025 NAEP Reading Framework calls for reporting more data about students’ background and reading performance (e.g., sub-scores for reading science, social studies, and literature).

In brief, the new framework is expected to integrate recent reading standards, curricula and instruction, cover new research on reading comprehension, and reflect the latest perspectives on the nation’s future, needs, and desirable levels of achievement. 

*Please remember to download a copy of the framework draft and submit your feedback here:

Comments are accepted through Thursday, July 23rd.

*If you were unable to attend the webinar cohosted by NSBA, you may download a copy of the slide deck here:

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