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The National Emergency Airborne Command Post is now named National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC). Or see kneecap.

The New England Common Assessment Program (universally abbreviated NECAP, and generally pronounced "knee cap") is a series of reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement tests, administered annually, which were developed in response to the Federal No Child Left Behind Act. Since 2005, school students in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont have been participating in NECAP, and Maine joined the assessment program in 2009. It is a collaborative project of the New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont departments of education, with assistance from the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessments. Measured Progress, an assessment contractor from Dover, New Hampshire, coordinates production, administration, scoring and reporting.

The NECAP tests measure students’ academic knowledge and skills relative to Grade Expectations which were created by teams of teachers representing the three states. Student scores are reported at four levels of academic achievement; Proficient with Distinction, Proficient, Partially Proficient and Substantially Below Proficient. Reading and math are assessed in grades 3–8 and 11, writing is assessed in grades 5, 8 and 11, and science is assessed in grades 4, 8 and 11. The reading, math and writing tests are administered each year in October. The science tests are administered in May. In Maine students in grades 5 and 8 take the science MEA (Maine Education Assessment). Students in Maine do not participate in the science NECAP.

The states supporting this initiative are planning on phasing over to the newer Common Core State Standards Initiative by 2014.[1]


NECAP provides assessment results for students in Grades 3-8 and 11 based on a common set of grade expectations. The scores serve a variety of purposes, including –

  • Measurement of individual student achievement and progress
  • Program evaluation and systems-change
  • Public reporting
  • School accountability and identification of schools in need of improvement


NECAP tests are made up of multiple choice, short answer and constructed response questions. The writing test also includes an extended response essay question, and the science test includes an inquiry session that requires students to analyze experimental data. Every NECAP test question is aligned to a specific grade expectation.

Teacher Involvement[edit]

One major goal of NECAP has been to create tests that are relevant to classroom instruction. To accomplish this goal, teachers are involved in test development in a variety of ways, including:

  • Development of the Grade Expectations
  • Review of test items for alignment with the grade expectations, as well as absence of bias
  • Setting standards (determining the test score needed to be considered “proficient’)


The NECAP tests provide broad scores in reading, writing, mathematics and science literacy, as well as the following strand or domain scores:

  • The Reading assessment addresses Word Identification, Vocabulary, Initial Understanding and Analysis/Interpretation. Comprehension is measured using both literary and informational text.
  • The Mathematics assessment addresses Numbers and Operations, Geometry and Measurement, Functions and Algebra, and Data, Statistics and Probability
  • The Writing assessment addresses a variety of writing genre including narratives, informational writing and response to both literary and informational text. Writing conventions and structures of writing are also assessed.
  • The Science assessment addresses four domains: Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Space Science and Inquiry.

Science inquiry[edit]

The inquiry section of the NECAP Science test is a unique approach to assessing scientific literacy. Students in grades 4 and 8 work in pairs to conduct an actual, hands-on science experiment (11th graders use authentic data from existing research). Then, working independently, they use their data to analyze results, test hypotheses and make predictions. In other words, the test requires students to think and act like scientists.

External links[edit]


  • Asmar, Melanie. "Federal law means more school testing: Grades three through eight targeted." Concord Monitor. August 1, 2005. [1]
  • McKenna, Bredan. "Feds accept Vermont's plan for student testing; $1.2 million at stake." Barre Montpelier Times Argus. August 14, 2005. [2]
  • Rood, Jeremiah. "NH awaits word on NCLB plan." Laconia Citizen. July 16, 2005. [3]
  • Rood, Jeremiah, and Marcus Weisgerber. "Feds won't punish states over delay in 'No Child' testing." Foster's Daily Democrat. July 21, 2005. [4]
  • Weisgerber, Marcus. "State may not be sanctioned over No Child Left Behind testing plans." Foster's Daily Democrat. July 19, 2005. [5]
  • Weiss-Tisman, Howard. "Feds OK Vermont education proposal." Brattleboro Reformer. July 22, 2005. [6]


  1. ^ Walsh, Molly (14 September 2010). "Vermont joins 30 others in Common Core". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 1B. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012.