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Board Moves Forward On NAEP 12th Grade Preparedness

Governing Board Moves Forward On NAEP 12th Grade Preparedness


WASHINGTON (December 2, 2008) - At its quarterly meeting, the National Assessment Governing Board accepted an expert panel's final report recommending studies designed for reporting preparedness results for 12th grade on The Nation's Report CardTM.

The report was compiled by the Technical Panel on 12th Grade Preparedness Research, a body of experts commissioned by the Board to recommend studies that will enable NAEP to report on the preparedness of 12th graders for postsecondary education and job training after graduation. The panel was comprised of seven members whose expertise included college preparation, workplace, military, measurement, and policy. Since June 2007, the Panel met numerous times and consulted with other experts in various areas to find ways to enable The Nation's Report Card to report on preparedness.

In the report, the panel recommended studies to provide data that the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), otherwise known as The Nation's Report Card, may report and to help define preparedness in terms of the academic knowledge and skills measured by NAEP. The Board's goal is to begin this new type of preparedness reporting for the NAEP 2009 12th grade reading and mathematics assessments, scheduled for release in 2010.

"A rapidly changing economy and marketplace have brought into sharp focus the concern of how well our high school seniors do academically and ultimately in the workforce," said Darvin Winick, Governing Board Chairman. "We want NAEP to contribute to a better understanding of how prepared students are for life after high school graduation."

The report discusses several types of studies designed to provide evidence for reporting 12th grade NAEP results in terms of preparedness, including those that would compare content in NAEP with that of examinations for college admissions, course placement, and workplace eligibility. The report lays out an overall research strategy that includes these major recommendations:

  • Use several types of study designs for each postsecondary area to produce results that form a comprehensive foundation for NAEP preparedness reporting.
  • Emphasize that NAEP focuses on academic skills in reading and mathematics and not readiness, which involves non-academic skills, such as time management, which are not measured by NAEP.
  • Ensure that future Nation's Report Cards explain how NAEP preparedness reports relate to other measures of preparedness and state policy initiatives.

In terms of college, preparedness will represent the reading and mathematics skills needed to qualify for an entry-level general education course for credit toward a four-year degree. For the workplace, preparedness will refer to the reading and mathematics skills needed to qualify for placement in a job training program, including apprenticeships, on-the-job training, vocational institutes, and certification programs.

"This report is merely the start of a comprehensive process that will eventually help NAEP report on this important area accurately," said Michael Kirst, chairman of the technical panel and Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University. "The panel shares with the Governing Board the goal of reporting on preparedness of the nation's 12th graders."

Click here to see the report from the panel.

Stephaan Harris

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the only nationally representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of education in the United States. It has served as a national yardstick of student achievement since 1969. Through the Nation's Report Card, NAEP informs the public about what American students know and can do in various subject areas and compares achievement between states, large urban districts, and various student demographic groups.
The National Assessment Governing Board is an independent, bipartisan board whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to oversee and set policy for NAEP.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a congressionally authorized project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Center for Education Statistics, within the Institute of Education Sciences, administers NAEP. The Commissioner of Education Statistics is responsible by law for carrying out the NAEP project.