The development of the NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework required the participation of a broad array of individuals and organizations to consider the various definitions of "technology," "engineering," and "technology and engineering literacy" and to devise a single framework that takes all of them into account. Among the organizations whose representatives provided advice and feedback were the Council of Chief State School Officers, the International Society for Technology in Education, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, the National Academy of Engineering, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association. Eighteen outreach meetings were held across the country to solicit feedback on drafts of the framework, with approximately 2,000 participants. Online and paper-based surveys provided specific written feedback from 350 respondents.
In determining what students should know and be able to do in the areas of technology and engineering and to set forth criteria for the design of the assessment, the framework developers drew from a wide variety of sources. These included state, national, and international technology and engineering standards; research studies and reports; and a broad array of publications on technology and engineering literacy, educational standards, and assessment. To allow for some in-depth probing of fundamental knowledge and skills, the framework and the specifications represent a distillation rather than a complete representation of the universe of achievement outcomes targeted by teaching about technology and engineering.
Developers of the framework discussed various constraints regarding exactly what can be measured. In particular, there are important aspects of technology and engineering literacy that are difficult and time-consuming to measure—such as habits of mind, sustained design and research projects, and working as part of a team—but that are valued by engineers, technology and engineering educators, and the business community. These can be only partially represented in the NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Assessment.
Developing a technology and engineering literacy assessment from this framework will pose a number of challenges. For example, because of the current underdeveloped state of assessing technology and engineering literacy, there are few existing sample tasks to serve as examples for assessment development.
The framework developers believe this assessment will provide a rich and accurate measure of the technology and engineering literacy that students need both for their schooling and for their lives. Development of these technology and engineering literacy skills and capabilities is the responsibility of all teachers—not only technology and engineering educators but also teachers across the curriculum—and also involves the expectations of parents and society.