12th Grade Student Achievement in America: A New Vision for NAEP
Early in 2003, the National Assessment Governing Board established the National Commission on NAEP 12th Grade Assessment and Reporting, following the recommendation of retiring Governing Board Executive Director Roy Truby. The Governing Board’s charge to the Commission was
"To review the current purpose, strengths, and weaknesses of 12th grade assessment and reporting by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and set forth recommendations for improvement to the National Assessment Governing Board."
The Commission was instructed to focus on improvements needed for 12th grade NAEP and not on the status of high schools generally or the quality and rigor of the high school curriculum. The Commission has attempted to heed this guidance scrupulously.
Commission members were appointed by Darvin Winick, Chairman of the Governing Board. The eighteen Commission members were drawn from K-12 and higher education faculty and policymakers, the business community, and the military. Thus, the composition of the Commission includes both those who “produce” high school graduates and those who receive them (see Appendix A). The members have varying areas of expertise and a wide range of views, but share a common interest in the quality of the students produced by our nation’s education systems.
Commission members’ knowledge of NAEP prior to appointment ranged from very much to very little. However, over the course of the meetings, Commission members’ familiarity with NAEP has increased and their appreciation of the singular role that NAEP plays in American education has deepened. The members of the Commission recognize NAEP’s quality, integrity, and unique role as an independent, external measure of student achievement at the national and state levels.