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For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Contact:Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106

Massachusetts Education Commissioner To Serve On Commission To Study Future Of 12th Grade National Assessment

MALDEN - Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll has been asked to serve on the National Commission on NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) 12th Grade Assessment and Reporting established by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB).

The 20-member study commission will focus on making recommendations on both content and standards of grade 12 assessments, and identifying ways in which NAEP could be better related to national educational needs. The commission is also expected to consider student motivation and participation in 12th grade NAEP.

Members include representatives from K-12, higher education, business, and the military from across the country.

“One of the great challenges we will face will be to find a way to ensure high school seniors will take the NAEP 12th grade tests seriously,” Commissioner Driscoll said. “We know from our own experience in Massachusetts that if a test doesn’t have any consequences, senior high school students do not try their best.”

NAEP, also known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” assesses samples of students in grades 4, 8 and 12 in various academic subjects. For more than 30 years, NAEP assessments have been conducted periodically in reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography and the arts. NAEP is also developing assessments in world history, economics and foreign language.

The commission might consider changes in NAEP to determine what percentage of 12th graders are ready for higher education, what percent are likely to require remediation before they can start regular college work, and how many high school seniors have the academic achievement needed for employment in high skill industries. The board will also consider how many are prepared only for low skill, low pay jobs, and determine if there are sufficient numbers of seniors who qualify for leadership roles and demanding technical jobs in the military.

The panel will hold a series of public meetings and hearings, will commission expert papers, and is scheduled to make recommendations to the Governing Board in March 2004. The first meeting is scheduled for March 27 in Arlington, VA.

The National Assessment Governing Board was established by Congress in 1988 to set policy for NAEP. The Board is composed of governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public.

For more information on NAEP, visit

Last Updated: March 13, 2003
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