AERA Responds to Request for Comment on NAEP Background Questions
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) submitted comments to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) on a proposal to review and revise the background questions on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). In a report, NAGB provided recommendations in four key areas: asking important questions, improving the accuracy of measures, strengthen sampling efficiency, and reinstituting meaningful analysis and reporting. NAGB also advanced recommendations for implementation, including issuing special reports based on the background data and improving the usability of the NAEP Data Explorer.
AERA supported several of NAGB’s recommendations, including appointing a NAGB committee responsible for overseeing background questions, developing questions that are drawn from research, and continuing efforts to institute a more accurate measure of socioeconomic status (SES). AERA urges caution on using the NAEP background questions as a tool to gauge the impact of various policy initiatives and eliminating questions on race and ethnicity in order to collect this information from student records. AERA also encourages collaboration going forward with the National Center for Education Statistics.
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