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Transparency Watch: NAEP Governing Board’s Puzzling Media Access Policy

By Michele McNeil — November 08, 2013 1 min read
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Within media circles, the NAEP governing board’s decision to ban journalists from certain online news organizations from early access to test data and media briefings caused a bit of a stir.

The board that oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress has always been tight-lipped with its data, and is serious about reporters and others keeping the information under wraps until the embargo is lifted at the designated time.

The board decided to bar GothamSchools, Chalkbeat and EdNews Colorado from access provided to other media organizations, which included Education Week and the online-only Huffington Post. In Mark Walsh’s thorough, behind-the-scenes look at the decisionmaking process, he states that the board refused to provide a copy of its informal policy on media access, saying it’s an “internal document.”

Whatever you think about the governing board’s decision—and who should and shouldn’t get access to NAEP data—it seems reasonable to ask for one thing: The board should release its “informal policy” that guides this decision. And U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who appoints members to the board, should ask them to as well.

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