A Senate committee last week approved a bill that would expand the national assessment program in U.S. history to include state-by-state comparisons.
Under the American History Achievement Act, sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the National Assessment of Educational Progress in that subject would be administered to representative samples of 8th and 12th graders every four years as part of a 10-state pilot program.
The NAEP U.S. history exam, scheduled every four years, was given this past winter to a national sample of students in 4th, 8th, and 12th grades. The results are due early next year. The state-level data would be used to compare achievement among states and gauge what teaching approaches are working.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee unanimously approved the bill on May 17. It now goes to the Senate floor.
A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2006 edition of Education Week