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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Improving Interpretations of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Data

1973 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Widespread misinterpretation of NAEP assessment results by individuals, news media, and other organizations caused concern in 1973 and continues to be an issue in testing. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English recognize the need for comprehensive reports on the findings and interpretations of the program for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP);

     that the Council express its concern to the director of NAEP that his staff exercise professional responsibility in releasing to the press and public results of the assessment tests in reading, literature, and writing. Such reports should include a clear, comprehensive explanation of the interpretation of these results, including a detailed description of their scope, validity, and methodology, as well as a description of any limitations found in the development and use of the tests; and

     that the NCTE Committee to Study the National Assessment of Educational Progress be instructed to move forward rapidly in its study and evaluation of the results of the national assessment with as much financial support as can be found and to prepare a comprehensive interpretation of the national assessment results and, further, that the committee membership include persons with expertise in reading, writing, literature, and curriculum; persons who work directly with those individuals being assessed; and persons who are minority members of NCTE.

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