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Scholars To Monitor Minority Test Scores

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The National Assessment of Educational Progress, the evaluations administered by the Educational Testing Service that will now measure the progress of 4th, 8th, and 11th graders in four subject areas every other year (See Education Week, Oct. 19, 1983), has appointed two visiting scholars to conduct research and inform educators and the public of the educational progress of minorities, the testing service announced earlier this month.

The visiting scholars will also "identify productive areas of investigation for future naep activities relevant to blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities," according to Marion G. Epstein, administrator of the program, which ets officials say is the first such program in the history of the assessment.

In announcing the visiting-scholars program, the testing service noted a series of "considerations affecting the assessment of minorities." Among them:

In 1981, only 84 percent of Hispanic 16- and 17-year-olds were enrolled in schools, compared to 91 percent of blacks and whites.

For every 100 Hispanics who begin elementary school, only seven complete college.

Black children tend to drop below grade level in elementary school and fall further behind as they grow older. By age 16, at least 35 percent are below their expected grade.

Black high-school students have a 28-percent dropout rate, as compared to a 17-percent dropout rate among white high-school students.

The visiting-scholars program is open to any qualified person who holds a doctorate or the equivalent in training and experience in a relevant discipline, such as education, political science, psychology, public policy, or sociology. Applicants should also provide evidence of their prior research relevant to the education of minorities.

The agency has hired Charlene Rivera, most recently a Spencer Post Doctoral Fellow of the National Academy of Education, and Mary Ann Rogers-Wright, a specialist in research on barriers to the educational progress of minority students, as naep visiting scholars for 1983-84.

The deadline for applications for 1984-85 is Jan. 1, 1984. Applications should be sent to Marion G. Epstein, naep Visiting Scholars Program, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J. 08541.

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