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July 2010

From the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Latest National Indian Education Study Draws Widespread Interest

Artwork from NIES report: 'The Circle of Wisdom' by Michelle HolimanArtwork from NIES report: "The Circle of Wisdom" by Michelle

For the first time, the two parts of the National Indian Education Study (NIES) were released on the same day, garnering significant interest from the media as well as government leaders.

This two-part study is designed to describe the condition of education for American Indian and Alaska Native students in the United States. This is the third NIES (previously released in 2005 and 2007) and is published under the direction of the National Center for Education Statistics on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Indian Education. Part I of the study is a detailed analysis of NAEP data and provides in-depth information on the academic performance of American Indian and Alaska Native students in reading and mathematics. Part II provides information on the educational experiences of the fourth- and eighth-grade American Indian and Alaska Native students based on a survey administered as part of the NAEP assessments.

An Associated Press (AP) article that was published shortly after the release appeared in almost 700 media publications nationwide—in print and online—including the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Seattle Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Detroit News, Houston Chronicle and Huffington Post. Education Week published a comprehensive story on the results, and there was a segment on Minnesota Public Radio. Congressman Dale E. Kildee, chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and Democratic Chairman of the House Native American Caucus, and Congressman George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee also issued a statement after the release of the study's findings.

Before the release, NCES presented the results in a series of briefings to the Bureau of Indian Education, the Department's Office of Indian Education and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Secretary of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council, and state education representatives from states with high concentrations of Indian and/or Alaska Native students. In attendance were representatives from North Dakota, North Carolina, Montana, Minnesota, Arizona, South Dakota, New York, and Alaska.

To view the full report, visit

NCES Links National and International Assessments in 2011 Study of Eighth-Graders

The National Center for Education Statistics recently announced a new effort to link national and international student assessments so that states can measure their performance against international benchmarks. The NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study, to be conducted in the first half of 2011, will take a new approach to using grade 8 mathematics and science data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to project state-level scores on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

Also known as the Nation's Report Card, NAEP measures student learning in 50 states, 18 urban districts, and several other U.S. jurisdictions in a way that permits comparisons to the nation and among the participating states and jurisdictions. In grades 4 and 8, NAEP administers mathematics and reading assessments every two years, and a science assessment every four years.

In the 2011 assessment, NAEP will assess what students know and can do in reading and mathematics. At the same time, NAEP will also assess eighth-grade students in science in the 50 states that volunteered to participate in the science assessment.

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study is an international assessment that measures student learning. Along with more than 60 other nations, the United States will participate in the 2011 assessment, as it has done every four years since 1995. NCES sponsors U.S. participation in the TIMSS.

For the NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study, two representative national samples will be tested on their knowledge of mathematics and science by taking both the NAEP and TIMSS assessments. One sample of 10,000 eighth-graders will take combined test booklets in a NAEP-like format in the winter as part of NAEP; and the other sample of 7,500 eighth-graders will take combined test booklets in a TIMSS-like format in the spring as part of TIMSS. The relationships between the NAEP and TIMSS assessments of mathematics and science that are found in these two samples will permit projections of how the 50 states that took NAEP would have performed in mathematics and science on TIMSS, with scores that can be compared to those of other countries.

To check the validity and accuracy of the linking projections, eight states—Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and North Carolina—have agreed to participate in TIMSS 2011 separately from the nation. The actual state TIMSS scores in these states will be compared to the scores projected on the basis of state NAEP performance and the relationships established by the linking samples.

For more information about NAEP, visit
For more information about TIMSS, visit