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Chiefs' Group To Plan For Expanded NAEP

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Washington--Efforts to provide state-by-state comparisons of student-achievement data moved forward last week with the announced formation by the Council of Chief State School Officers of a planning group for a new, expanded National Assessment of Educational Progress test in mathematics in 1990.

The 17-member group, financed by a $572,000 grant to the council from the Education Department and the National Science Foundation, will recommend to those agencies by next spring what items should be included in the assessment and ways the results should be reported.

If the group arrives at a consensus on those issues, and states are satisfied with the results of the assessment, the process could be repeated in future assessments in other subject areas, department officials said at a press conference here.

"We are embarking on an experiment," said Chester E. Finn Jr., the assistant secretary for educational research and improvement. "I think this is an experiment that can succeed, but I don't want to give any guarantees that it will succeed."

Mr. Finn said that the department was committed to expanding naep to provide state-by-state data, and that legislation to authorize such an expansion had been drafted. But the cost of the larger 1990 assessment would depend on how many states choose to participate and how much information they want, he added.

"If a state wants to compare brown-eyed to blue-eyed rural girls, we will need a large sample size," he said.

The legislation, which must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget before it is sent to the Congress, differs in only "technical details" from the recommendations of a study panel appointed by Secretary of Education William J. Bennett, Mr. Finn said.

That panel, headed by former4Gov. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, proposed, among other recommendations, that the assessment be redesigned to provide state-by-state data, measure learning in more core subjects, include out-of-school 17-year-olds, and give a larger sampling of private-school students. (See Education Week, March 25, 1987.)

Data from the expanded assessment are expected to be included in the state-by-state indicators project currently being compiled by the ccsso's state education assessment center. The first report by the center, which is expected to be released this fall, will not include any data on student achievement.

The director of the planning group announced last week will be Wilmer S. Cody, a former superintendent of the Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools and a former chairman of the assessment policy committee, which is naep's governing board.

The members of the group are:

James E. Morrell, superintendent of the Muhlenberg (Pa.) Public Schools; Tom Fisher, administrator for assessment, testing, and evaluation, Florida Department of Education; Glenn Bracht, director of schools, American Lutheran Church; Richard A. Boyd, superintendent, Mississippi Department of Education; C. June Knight, principal, Hobart, (Okla.) Middle School; Antonia Cortese, first vice president, New York State United Teachers; Alice Houston, assistant superintendent, Seattle Public Schools; Lillian Barna, superintendent, Albuquerque (N.M.) Public Schools; Glynn Ligon, director of management information, Austin (Texas) Independent School System; Barbara Roberts Mason, president, Michigan Board of Education; Stephen Lee, principal, Southwood High School, Southwood, Ind.; Sister Mary Brian Costello, superintendent, Archdiocese of Chicago; Robert Astrup, president, Minnesota Education Association; William M. Soult, St. Vrain Valley Board of Education, Longmont, Colo.; Paul LeMahieu, director of research, testing, and evaluation, Pittsburgh City Schools; Representative Wilhelmina Delco, Texas House of Representatives; Nancy DiLaura, assistant to Gov. Robert D. Orr of Indiana.

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