The board that oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress named a 20-member study commission this month to examine the future of the program’s testing of 12th graders.
“NAEP is the only representative survey that the nation has of what students know when they graduate high school, not just those who are going on to college,” said Darvin M. Winick, the chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, in announcing the commission. “We want to improve the assessment we have, and make its reports much more useful.”
At present, NAEP tests national samples of 12th graders in a variety of subjects, including reading, mathematics, writing, science, U.S. history, geography, and civics. But concerns have been raised about the low participation rates and motivation among high school seniors who take the tests.
The panel that was announced at the governing board’s meeting here this month will make recommendations on content and standards for the 12th grade assessments and how the results might be better related to national needs. Such needs include estimating the percentage of seniors ready for college, high-skill jobs, or the military.
The panel, which will hold a series of public meetings and will commission papers by experts, is scheduled to make recommendations to the governing board in March of next year. The panel’s first meeting will be March 27 in Arlington, Va.
Co-chairing the new commission will be two members of the governing board: Mark D. Musick, a former board chairman and the president of the Atlanta-based Southern Regional Education Board, and Michael T. Nettles, an expert on higher education at the University of Michigan, who serves as the NAEP board’s vice chairman.
Commission members also include: Gene Bottoms, senior vice president, SREB; Louis Caldera, vice chancellor for university advancement, California State University system; Floyd Coppedge, professor of education, Oklahoma Christian University; James R. Davis, superintendent of schools, Hattiesburg, Miss.; David P. Driscoll, Massachusetts commissioner of education; Curtis Gilroy, director of accession policy, office of the U.S. secretary of defense; David W. Gordon, superintendent, Elk Grove (Calif.) Unified School District; Christine Johnson, president, Community College of Denver; Madeleine M. Kunin, scholar-in-residence, Middlebury College, and former deputy U.S. secretary of Education; and Patricia Lucero, chair of the mathematics department, Del Valle High School, El Paso, Texas.
The other panelists are: Von Mansfield, principal, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor, Ill.; Luis A. Ramos, manager of community affairs, PPL Corp., Allentown, Pa.; Edwin R. Sharpe, vice chancellor for educational system alignment, University of Texas system; William E.B. Siart, chairman, Excellent Education Development, Santa Monica, Calif.; William D. Tarver, president, Red Bank Education and Development Initiative, Red Bank, N.J.; Krista S. Tillman, president, BellSouth, N.C.; Belle S. Wheelan, Virginia secretary of education; and P. Anthony Zeiss, president, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, N.C.
The liaison from the National Center for Education Statistics will be Peggy Carr, the agency’s associate commissioner.