Publication Date

November 1, 1991

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

AHA Topic

K–12 Education, Teaching & Learning

Over the next six months, the Association will participate in the development of a conceptual framework for the 1994 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. history tests. The history test is one of a series of discipline-based assessments designed to compare student knowledge over time and among sets of students grouped by region, type of community, race/ethnicity, and gender in grades four, eight, and twelve. Referred to as “The Nation’s Report Card,” NAEP has periodically provided information on student performance and achievement for more than two decades. The results of the NAEP tests will be central to evaluating progress toward the national education goals established in the wake of the 1989 Education Summit convened by President Bush and part of the President’s Education 2000 initiative.

In an effort to achieve consensus on the criteria for the tests, the Council of Chief State School Officers, on behalf of the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), commissioned the AHA, the National Council on Social Studies, and the National Council on History Education to convene task forces to develop recommendations regarding concepts, content, and skills that should be addressed in the 1994 assessment. Planning and Steering Committees, which include representatives from the three organizations and individuals from the larger history and education communities, will be responsible for hammering out a final consensus report. The Association’s task force committee will develop recommendations regarding the balance of depth versus breadth in coverage, which periods and elements of U.S. history should be tested, and the extent to which other disciplines (such as politics, economics, and geography) should be included in the assessment. The task force will be chaired by Noralee Frankel, the Association’s Assistant Director for Minorities and Women, and include Albert Camarillo, Stanford University; Terrie Epstein, School of Education, Boston College; Louis R. Harlan, University of Maryland; Thomas C. Holt, University of Chicago; James O. Horton, George Washington University; David M. Katzman, University of Kansas; Laurie Morton, Lynbrook School, Baltimore; and Howard J. Shorr, Downtown Business Magnet School, Los Angeles. The Association’s Deputy Executive Director James B. Gardner will serve on the NAEP Steering Committee.

In an effort to open the process to as much input as possible, NAEP will also conduct a public hearing on the project at the Association’s annual meeting in Chicago, on December 29 at 9:30. a.m. in Conference Room 5D, Chicago Hilton.