Assessment

Extra Funding Provided to Sustain NAEP

In fiscal 2009 budget, Bush also seeks more money to expand tests.
By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — February 06, 2008 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Includes updates and/or revisions.

National assessments in core subjects will proceed as planned, now that the federal testing program has received additional funding in the current year’s budget.

And with an increase proposed in President Bush’s budget for next fiscal year, the program would have enough money to cover all planned assessments through 2011, as well as to expand a sampling of urban districts and pay for state-level tests of 12th graders.

“We are so relieved, because we don’t have to call anything off at this point,” said Peggy G. Carr, the associate commissioner for assessment for the National Center for Education Statistics, the arm of the Department of Education that administers the exam program. “We can go ahead and plan for the most important components of the 2008 activities in preparation for the 2009 assessments.”

The National Assessment of Educational Progress was threatened with cutbacks in several core areas last fall because of a projected budget shortfall. The governing board that sets policy for NAEP had been expected to consider recommendations at its meeting this month to cancel scheduled tests in economics, foreign languages, geography, and world history, and to scale back testing in U.S. history, civics, and writing. (“U.S. Testing Poised to Be Scaled Back,” Nov. 28, 2007.)

Gauging Preparedness

The fiscal 2008 Education Department budget, part of an omnibus spending bill President Bush signed in December, includes some $100 million for NAEP, with a $10 million increase over the previous year that federal officials hadn’t anticipated. The president’s budget proposal for fiscal 2009, which begins Oct. 1, would boost the assessment budget by more than a third.

While Congress is expected to make significant changes to the proposal, there has been bipartisan support for expanding the testing program, including the addition of state-level samples on some tests for 12th graders.

The increase would provide money for preparation of tests in U.S. history, civics, and geography that are scheduled for 2010. It would also cover the expansion of the 12th grade assessment in mathematics and reading in 2011 to include samples of students from each state. President Bush has urged state-level testing of high school seniors as a way of boosting accountability and providing state-by-state comparisons.

Ms. Carr said the NCES hopes to conduct a pilot study for the state-level 12th grade assessments next year.

The National Assessment Governing Board would also have enough money for research and validity studies for new indicators on that assessment, which would allow reporting on students’ levels of preparedness for college and the workforce.

Student performance is currently reported in terms of scale scores and achievement levels—defined as “basic,” “proficient,” and “advanced.” The preparedness levels would explain what the results meant in terms of the skills students needed to enter community college, succeed in four-year institutions, or qualify for different types of jobs.

A version of this article appeared in the February 13, 2008 edition of Education Week as Extra Funding Provided to Sustain NAEP

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
Science K-12 Essentials Forum How To Teach STEM Problem Solving Skills to All K-12 Students
Join experts for a look at how experts are integrating the teaching of problem solving and entrepreneurial thinking into STEM instruction.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Opinion The Future, Present, and Past of 'the Nation's Report Card'
What lies ahead for the nation's only true barometer of the state of K-12 education?
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Assessment The 'Nation's Report Card' Is Getting an Overhaul: 5 Things to Know
The leaders of NAEP have big plans for making the test more nimble, flexible, and useful.
9 min read
Image of a bank of computers in a library.
baona/E+
Assessment Opinion What the Digital SAT Will Mean for Students and Educators
The college-admissions test will be fully digital by 2024. Priscilla Rodriguez from the College Board discusses the change.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Assessment Opinion Searching for Common Ground: What Makes a Good Test?
Rick Hess and USC Dean Pedro Noguera discuss standardized testing—what it’s for, where it’s gone wrong, and how to improve it.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty