News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
NAEP To Include Disabled and LEP Students
In 1998, the National Assessment of Educational Progress will for the first time count in its national and state-level results the performance of students who received special accommodations because of a disability or limited English skills.
The decision, which affects new assessments in civics and writing only, was proposed by the Department of Education and approved this month by the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP.
The national assessment is the only ongoing, nationally representative assessment of U.S. students' performance in various academic subjects. The department's National Center for Education Statistics runs the congressionally mandated program.
Currently, NAEP includes students who have disabilities and limited proficiency in English, said Lawrence W. Feinberg, an assistant director for the governing board.
The board made the decision, Mr. Feinberg said, after hearing that an experiment giving accommodations to students taking the 1996 assessment in mathematics showed that more such students could be included without affecting test results.
ED To Identify Jobs for Welfare Recipients
An Education Department task force will spend the next month deciding the types of jobs former welfare recipients might be able to land in the agency's workforce.
President Clinton ordered every Cabinet agency to undertake such a review in his March 8 radio address. Mr. Clinton has made similar pleas for businesses to employ welfare recipients, whose benefits will be subjected to a time limit for the first time under the welfare law the president signed last year.
"We're going to figure out the best way to do it, and we'll have [the report] ready on time," said Rick Miller, Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley's press secretary.
Mr. Clinton said he would call a Cabinet meeting specifically to discuss the plans submitted by each agency.