[Federal Register: December 31, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 250)]
[Page 68271-68272]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Assessment Governing Board Meeting

ACTION: Notice of public hearings.


SUMMARY: The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), US Department 
of Education, is announcing two public hearings on the Voluntary 
National Tests (VNT). These hearings are being conducted pursuant to 
Public Law 105-78, which gives NAGB ``exclusive authority over all 
policies, direction, and guidelines for developing voluntary national 
    Public and private parties and organizations with an interest in 
the Voluntary National Tests for 4th grade reading and 8th grade 
mathematics are invited to present written and oral testimony. The 
purpose of the hearings is to gather recommendations on the test 
specifications or blueprint for the proposed VNT based on the National 
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 4th grade reading and 8th 
grade mathematics. The proposed tests will be individualized versions 
of NAEP, and the Board intends to ensure that they are fully consistent 
with NAEP's content and performance standards. In carrying out its 
responsibilities, the Board plans to consult widely and wishes to 
receive a broad range of input and views. We encourage your 
participation. Results of the hearings are particularly important as 
they will provide broad public input to the Governing Board for on 
specifications for the Voluntary National Tests.

DATES: The dates of the public hearings have been set as follows:
     January 21, 1998 in Washington, DC.
     January 27, 1998 in Chicago, IL.
    On each day, the reading hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. and 
adjourn at 12:00 noon, and the mathematics hearing will begin at 1:30 
p.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. You are invited to present either oral 
and/or written testimony. Oral presentations should not exceed five 
minutes. Written testimony should be mailed to the address below no 
later than January 31, 1998: Aspen Systems Corporation, 2277 Research 
Boulevard, Mail Stop 4-D, Rockville, Maryland 20850, Attn: Munira 
    Please include your name, address, and any organization you may 
represent. All testimony will become part of the public record and will 
be considered by the Governing Board in deciding on specifications for 
the proposed national tests, which will be designed to show whether 
individual students can meet NAEP standards for basic, proficient, or 
advanced performance. Presenters may also register online at 
www.nagb.org or by calling (800) 638-2785 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
January 21
The Capital Hilton, 16th and K Streets NW, Washington, DC 2036, (202) 
January 27
Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605, 
(312) 922-4400.

Written Statements

    Written statements may be submitted for the public record in lieu 
of oral testimony no later than January 31, 1998. These statements 
should be sent directly to Aspen Systems (see aforementioned address) 
in the following format:
    I. Issues and Questions Addressed: Identify the issue(s) and 
question(s) to which the testimony is directed. For example, 
``Specifications for 4th grade Voluntary National Test in reading.''
    II. Summary: Briefly summarize the major points and recommendations 
presented in the testimony.
    III. Discussion: The narrative should provide information, points 
of view and recommendations that will enable the Governing Board to 
consider all factors relevant to the question(s) the testimony 
addresses. Respondents are encouraged to limit this section of their 
written statements to ten (10) pages. The discussions may be appended 
with documents of any length providing further explanation.

[[Page 68272]]

Hearings Objectives and Procedures

    The National Assessment Governing Board seeks participation in the 
hearings from a wide spectrum of individuals and organizations to 
receive recommendations regarding the reading and mathematics 
specifications for the Voluntary National Tests at grade 4 in reading 
and grade 8 in mathematics. The schedule of speakers shall be such as 
to provide a broad spectrum of viewpoints and interests, while being 
contained to a practical amount of time. The goal of the hearings is to 
provide a medium for maximum input and guidance from the public to 
include teachers, principals, school board members, curriculum 
specialists, local school administrators, parents, and concerned 
    The Governing Board will provide a brief background to the 
hearings, with the majority of the time being devoted to presentations 
by scheduled speakers. To assist in appropriately scheduling speakers, 
testimony should include the following information:
    (1) Name, address, and telephone number of each person to appear.
    (2) Affiliation (if any).
    (3) A brief statement of the issues and/or concerns that will be 
    (4) Whether a written statement will be submitted for the record.
    Individuals who do not register in advance will be permitted to 
register and speak at the meeting in order of registration, if time 
permits. Speakers should plan to limit their total remarks to no more 
than five (5) minutes.
    While it is anticipated that all persons desiring to do so will 
have an opportunity to speak, time limits may not allow this to occur. 
The Governing Board will make the final determination on the selection 
and scheduling of speakers.
    However, all written statements presented at the hearings will be 
accepted and incorporated into the public record. Written statements 
received after January 31, 1998 will be accepted; however, inclusion in 
the public record cannot be guaranteed. Governing Board members will 
preside at each of the hearings. The proceedings will be audiotaped. On 
request, the hearings will be signed for the hearing-impaired, and a 
bilingual speaker (Spanish-English) can be made available on site.

Additional Information

    Additional information on the Voluntary National Tests can be 
obtained at by contacting Mary Crovo, National Assessment Governing 
Board, 800 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002-
4233, Telephone: 202-357-6938 or NAGB's web site at www.nagb.org.

Steps After Hearing

    The Governing Board will review and analyze all comments and 
opinions received in response to this announcement. Results of the 
testimony will be used by the National Assessment Governing Board to 
determine the specifications for the Voluntary National Tests in 
reading and mathematics. The Board plans to take action on the 
specifications in March 1998. A record of all the proceedings will be 
kept at the National Assessment Governing Board offices, 800 North 
Capitol Street NW, Suite 825, Washington, DC 20002, and will be 
available for public inspection.
Roy Truby,
Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board.
[FR Doc. 97-34005 Filed 12-30-97; 8:45 am]