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NAEP Board Proposes Shift To Annual, Not Biennial, Tests

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WASHINGTON--The governing board of the National Assessment of Educational Progress has proposed administering the tests annually rather than every other year.

In a resolution adopted at a meeting last month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the board also agreed to push back for a year assessments in mathematics and science scheduled for 1994, so that they coincide with a planned international assessment in those subjects.

The resolution, which outlined a schedule for assessments through 2000, was approved in order to provide guidance for President-elect Bill Clinton and Congress in drafting legislation to reauthorize NAEP, according to governing-board officials.

Under current law, NAEP is authorized to conduct assessments through 1994. Legislation that died in the 102nd Congress would have authorized NAEP through 1996, and would also have authorized an expansion of state-level testing.

In calling for annual testing, members of the governing board have said that the revised schedule would spread out the testing burden. Under the plan, NAEP would test students in no more than three subjects each year. In contrast, under current practice, as many as five subjects are tested in a single year.

But some state officials have argued that annual testing would increase the burden on states and students.--R.R.

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