ERIC Number: ED423244
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Student Testing: Issues Related to Voluntary National Mathematics and Reading Tests. Report to the Honorable William F. Goodling, Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce, House of Representatives, and the Honorable John Ashcroft, U.S. Senate.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
Information was sought about three main issues related to voluntary national tests for fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade mathematics: (1) the relationship between the National Assessment Governing Board and the U.S. Department of Education; (2) costs of developing the national voluntary tests and procedures for hiring contractors; and (3) possible explanations for the differences in scores on state achievement tests and National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests. When Congress gave the NAEP Governing Board authority for voluntary test development, it altered the relationship between the Governing Board and the Department of Education. Department of Education assistance was not used in developing the test contract, as had been typical of NAEP tests in the past. A review of the test development contract suggests that the cost to the federal government for developing one complete set of tests would be $15 million, and could go as high as $96 million for a complete set of tests for grades 4 and 8 if all students participate. A number of explanations have been proposed for the differences between state and NAEP results, but most center on differences in definitions of proficiency, differences in the kinds of tests administered, and differences in the kinds of students taking the tests. Appendixes present the study questions, a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Education and the Governing Board, the NAEP response to outside recommendations, and comments from both agencies. (Contains three tables and one figure.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Agency Cooperation, Costs, Educational Testing, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Grade 4, Grade 8, Mathematics Achievement, National Competency Tests, Reading Achievement, State Programs, Student Characteristics, Student Evaluation, Test Construction, Test Results, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress