To the Editor:
Your Web article “NAEP Board Postpones Decision on 12th Grade Test,” (Web only May 25, 2005) omits discussion of another very difficult validity issue for the 12th grade state-level National Assessment of Educational Progress. That issue concerns highly uneven dropout counts that occur from state to state. Uneven dropout statistics will cause sampling errors that are even more severe than those already under discussion, which concern students with learning disabilities and limited English proficiency and their impact on lower grade scores.
To date, NAEP has failed to deal with the exclusion of students from lower-grades testing, so it is unlikely that it will be able to cope with the much more severe validity problem that dropouts will create for any 12th grade testing.
Villa Hills, Ky.