EXPERT PANELS RECOMMEND NAEP TESTING CHANGES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND ENGLISH LEARNERS
WASHINGTON (August 18, 2009)—Two expert panels appointed by the National Assessment Governing Board have recommended important changes in the way the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests students with disabilities (SD) and English language learners (ELL).
The recommendations, presented to members of the Governing Board at its quarterly meeting in August, are an effort to establish uniform national rules for NAEP testing so SD and ELL students are assessed by NAEP the same way throughout the country.
The chairs of the SD and ELL panels—Alexa Posny, Kansas Commissioner of Education, and Sharif Shakrani, professor of educational measurement at Michigan State University, respectively—presented recommendations at the meeting that included such issues as testing accommodations for SD students and how long ELL students should be in the country before they participate in NAEP. A special ad hoc committee of the Board will be seeking wide public input before the Board's next regular meeting in November.
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.