New NAEP in Technology, Engineering Expected in 2014

By Erik W. Robelen — February 03, 2011 1 min read
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This may be old news to some readers, but I’ve been meaning to blog about plans under way by the producers of the “nation’s report card” to introduce a brand-new national exam in “technology and engineering literacy.” The new exam is to first be administered in 2014.

As you may know, this comes at a time when those subjects have been drawing increased attention, and are part of the acronym some people love (or at least embrace/accept) and other people love to hate: STEM, as in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

When I was reporting on the latest NAEP results in science, I heard repeatedly from folks about this new exam, though it’s been in the works for quite some time. You can get access to a copy of the framework here.

Alan Friedman, a member of the National Assessment Governing Board and former head of the New York Hall of Science, enthused about the planned exam in a recent interview.

“I think it’s going to be incredibly important and exciting,” he said, noting that it will emphasize a “hands-on” approach and be entirely “computer-based.”

“I think we have overemphasized science at the expense of engineering and technology,” he added.

Students will be assessed in three major areas of technology and engineering literacy, according to a press release issued last year from the National Center for Education Statistics:

Technology and Society involves the effects that technology has on society and on the natural world and the ethical questions that arise from those effects;

Design and Systems covers the nature of technology, the engineering design process by which technologies are developed, and basic principles of dealing with everyday technologies, including maintenance and troubleshooting; and

Information and Communication Technology includes computers and software learning tools, networking systems and protocols, hand-held digital devices, and other technologies for accessing, creating, and communicating information and for facilitating creative expression.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.