Publications & Resources

NAEP Math Performance and Test Accommodations: Interactions With Student Language Background

Feb 2001

Jamal Abedi, Carolyn Hofstetter, Eva Baker and Carol Lord

This study compared the performance of 946 8th-grade students with different language proficiencies (LEP, FEP, and IFE) and language backgrounds on a 35-item math test when different test accommodations were provided (original items, linguistically Modified English items, original items plus Glossary, original items plus Extra Time, original items plus Glossary and Extra Time). A reading test and a language background questionnaire (Abedi, Lord, & Plummer, 1995) were also administered. Major findings include the following. Students designated LEP by their schools scored, on average, more than 5 points lower than non-LEP students on the math test. In comparison with scores on the original NAEP items, the greatest score improvements, by both LEP and non-LEP students, were on the accommodation version that included the Glossary plus Extra Time. LEP students scored higher with all types of accommodation except Glossary only. Most accommodations helped both LEP and non-LEP students; however, the only accommodation that narrowed the score difference between LEP and non-LEP students was Modified English. Students who were better readers, as measured by reading test scores, achieved higher math scores. These differences and relative impacts need to be considered and investigated further before accommodation strategies are adopted for large-scale assessments.

Abedi, J., Hofstetter, C., Baker, E., & Lord, C. (2001). NAEP math performance and test accommodations: Interactions with student language background (CSE Report 536). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).