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NAEP Testing for Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners

Governing Board to Hold Hearings on NAEP Testing for Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners

Forums will be Jan. 30 in El Paso, Texas, and Feb. 4 in Washington, D.C.; Accommodations and Exclusion Rates to be Discussed

WASHINGTON (January 12, 2009)—The National Assessment Governing Board will hold public hearings in Washington, D.C., and El Paso, Texas, to obtain comments on policy options for testing of and reporting on students with disabilities (SD) and English language learners (ELL) on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The hearing in El Paso will be on Friday, Jan. 30, at the University of Texas at El Paso in the El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center, Wiggins Road, across from the campus' library. The hearing in Washington, D.C., will be on Wednesday, Feb. 4, in the Great Hall of the Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th Street, NW. Both hearings start at 9:30 a.m. and will continue until mid-afternoon.

The SD and ELL policy options are under consideration because of concern that differences in accommodation and exclusion rates among the states and districts participating in NAEP, commonly known as the Nation's Report Card, may jeopardize the fairness and validity of state comparisons and other NAEP data and trends.

The Governing Board has established an Ad Hoc Committee of its members, headed by Oscar Troncoso, a high school principal in Anthony, Texas, to conduct a comprehensive examination of NAEP testing of and reporting on students with disabilities and English language learners. The committee hopes these hearings produce valuable recommendations for the Board from policymakers, teachers, researchers, parents, and other interested individuals and groups.

To register to present oral testimony of up to 10 minutes please contact Tessa Regis, of the Governing Board staff, at 202-357-7500 or by e-mail at before Jan. 26 for El Paso and Jan. 30 for Washington, DC. The Board will make an effort to hear testimony from all persons, but speakers are encouraged to bring written statements to the hearings. Written statements may also be sent to the Board office for receipt by Feb. 6. The address is 800 N. Capitol St. NW, Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002.

More information about the policy options under review is available at: The official hearing notices are also available online. Visit for El Paso; or for Washington, D.C. Further information on the policy options and Governing Board deliberations may be obtained from Lawrence Feinberg at 202-357-6942 or

NAEP is a representative-sample assessment designed to produce valid, comparable data on the academic achievement of large groups of students. It is prohibited by law from providing results for individual children or schools.

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.