The following is an excerpt from Politico's Morning Education report by Caitlin Emma with help from Kimberly Hefling. For the full report, click here.
Former North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue was sworn in last month to chair the National Assessment Governing Board. The board oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is known as the “nation’s report card.” Perdue spoke of setting achievement levels, identifying so-called soft skills and online testing during a recent conversation with Morning Education.
Achievement levels. Perdue told Morning Education she was pleased that during the same meeting, the board voted to add the word “NAEP” in front of each achievement level—so proficient is now “NAEP proficient,” for example. Some groups, such as the National Superintendents Roundtable, had pushed for a more thorough overhaul that they said would make the levels more realistic and understandable for parents. Perdue said the board “continued to refuse to lower any kind of standard of be intimidated” by those who “wanted to weaken the bar.”
Measuring skills. The board’s work to measure what’s sometimes called the “soft” or non-academic skills required for the transition to postsecondary education is also an area on Perdue’s mind. She called the work challenging but critical in the modern workforce. “I actually think that may become, very likely, the highlight of my tenure as chair,” Perdue said. “I’m very pleased to see it happening.”
Online testing. Last year, NAEP reading and math tests were entirely digital. Perdue said it’s still a “mission in progress” to ensure that schools with connectivity issues or with a large percentage of students without computer access are adjusting to computer-based testing, which also has been embraced by many states. “That’s a fun challenge because we want kids and schools to be able to adapt with the new technology,” Perdue said.