NAEP Research Study

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is this study about?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the U.S. Department of Education, is conducting research sessions with students currently in grades 4 and 8 about new test questions for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The questions we are testing focus on Reading or Mathematics and will be part of a digitally-based test. NCES needs to know whether the questions on the test are clear. Students’ input will help NCES improve the test so that future students will understand it better. 

What will my child be asked to do?

The expectations for participants in this study are outlined as follows:

  • Each participant will answer Reading or Mathematics survey items, during which an interviewer will ask questions about their experience with the survey questions.
  • Specific knowledge other than grade-level Reading or Mathematics is not required, and participants’ responses will not be graded.
  • Students’ individual performance is not being evaluated as a part of this study.
  • Your child’s answers will not be disclosed to their school and will not be linked to any personally identifiable information (PII), such as the school’s name.

Are there benefits to being in this research study?

Students will have an opportunity to interact with Reading or Mathematics survey content, which may help prepare them for similar questions they see in future assessments.

What are the risks?

There are no anticipated risks associated with participation in this study component other than a small degree of discomfort students might feel when responding to questions about the task during the interview.

How will my child’s data be used?

Data will be used for research to inform question development. Your child will be assigned a unique student identifier (ID) and at no time will their name be linked to any of their answers. The study will not retain any PII. Prior to the start of the study, students will be notified that their participation is voluntary and that the information they provide may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law (20 U.S.C. §9573 and 6 U.S.C. §151).

Video of your child’s interview with the survey questions will be recorded for note taking and analysis purposes. Following the completion of analysis, if you do not give consent to retain your child’s video on this form, that video will be removed from the files, and anonymous transcriptions will be retained beyond the end of the project for possible future use in other studies.

Anonymized data (e.g., typed responses and patterns of interactions with descriptions of the problems) may be used in future research studies; this de-identified data will be accessible only within EurekaFacts and will not be shared with outside entities. Research findings may also be shared at educational conferences and in academic publications; however, your child will not be individually identified.

How will my child’s data be maintained?

Data will be accessible only to project staff and will be kept confidential and securely stored on Educational Testing Service (ETS) encrypted, password-protected computers and servers and/or secure, locked filing cabinets for up to 5 years, in accordance with an ETS policy for auditing purposes.

What other options are there?

You may choose to not allow your child to participate in this research study.

What are my child’s rights and what else should I know as the parent or legal guardian of a research study participant?

Your child’s participation in this research study is completely voluntary, and your child has the right to withdraw from this study at any time or to end early if they wish with the knowledge that if they withdraw early, they forgo payment (unless withdrawal is due to an internet connectivity issue). All information gathered from your child up to the point of withdrawal will be deleted. Your child may choose not to take part in this research study at all, and your child also has the right to refuse to answer any questions that make them uncomfortable. You and your child also have the right to know specifically how your child’s data will be used.

At the beginning of the study, you will be asked to show a photo ID prior to your child’s participation to confirm that you are the parent or legal guardian.

Will my child receive a payment?

4th grade children and parents who participate in the session will receive a total incentive of $120.00 for a 60min session.

8th grade children and parents who participate in the session will receive a total incentive of $160.00 for a 90min session.

Who can answer questions about the study?

Esther Cortez is coordinating this study at EurekaFacts on behalf of NCES. If you have any questions, please call 240-403-1650 or email