[Federal Register: September 15, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 178)]
[Notices]               
[Page 49341-49342]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15se98-54]

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

National Assessment Governing Board

 
National Assessment Governing Board; Meetings

AGENCY: National Assessment Governing Board; Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of Hearings.

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SUMMARY: The National Assessment Governing Board is announcing six 
public hearings related to proposed voluntary national tests. The 
purpose of the hearings is to obtain public comment to inform the 
development by the Governing Board of policies for the inclusion of and 
accommodations for students with disabilities and students with limited 
English proficiency in the proposed tests. Interested individuals and 
organizations are invited to provide written and/or oral testimony to 
the Governing Board. The Governing Board has contracted with the 
National Association of State Boards of Education to assist in the 
conduct and reporting of the public hearings.
    Pub. L. 105-78 vests exclusive authority to develop the voluntary 
national tests in the Governing Board and also prohibits the use of 
Fiscal Year 1998 funds for pilot testing, field testing, 
implementation, administration, or distribution of voluntary national 
tests. If Congress does not prohibit further development of the 
voluntary national tests after September 30, 1998, the Governing Board 
intends to begin pilot testing of items (i.e., test questions) in March 
1999.
    Pub. L. 105-78 also requires the Governing Board to make four 
determinations about the voluntary national tests, one of which 
concerns whether the test development process and test items take into 
account the needs of disadvantaged students, students with limited 
English proficiency, and students with disabilities. Pub. L. 105-78 
authorizes the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of 
appropriate test uses. The study, entitled ``High Stakes,'' contains 
recommendations related to inclusion and accommodations in educational 
tests generally of students with disabilities and students with limited 
English proficiency. The conference report accompanying Pub. L. 105-78 
asks the Governing Board to conduct public hearings on the NAS 
recommendations. Thus, the public hearings are being conducted pursuant 
to this congressional guidance and are intended to assist the Governing 
Board with respect to policy development.
    The NAS report ``High Stakes'' is available from the National 
Academy of Sciences. It is available on the Internet at the following 
address: http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/enter2.cgi?0309062802.html.

DATES AND LOCATIONS: The dates and locations of the six public hearings 
have been set as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Cities                      Dates             Locations    
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Washington, DC..................  October 14, 1998,   The Charles Sumner
                                   Register by         School, The Great
                                   September 30.       Hall, 1201 17th  
                                                       Street NW.       
Atlanta, GA.....................  October 29, 1998,   The Carter        
                                   Register by         Presidential     
                                   October 6.          Center, Cyprus   
                                                       Room, One        
                                                       Copenhill, 453   
                                                       Freedom Parkway. 
New York, NY....................  October 23, 1998,   New York          
                                   Register by         University, Main 
                                   October 9.          Building, Room   
                                                       401, 31          
                                                       Washington Place.
Chicago, IL.....................  October 26, 1998,   Curie High School,
                                   Register by         Auditorium, 4959 
                                   October 12.         South Archer     
                                                       Avenue.          
Austin, TX......................  October 28, 1998,   William B. Travis 
                                   Register by         Building, State  
                                   October 14.         Board of         
                                                       Education Room,  
                                                       #1-104, 1701     
                                                       North Congress   
                                                       Avenue.          
Los Angeles, CA.................  November 2, 1998,   Los Angeles       
                                   Register by         Unified School   
                                   October 19.         District, Board  
                                                       Room (H-160), 450
                                                       North Grand      
                                                       Avenue.          
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[[Page 49342]]

    The hearing schedule for each site will be as follows:

9:00 am-12:00 noon Testimony on students with limited English 
proficiency
1:00 pm-4:00 pm Testimony on students with disability

    Individuals wishing to present oral testimony should register in 
advance by the registration date indicated above in the schedule for 
the specific hearings. To register in advance, contact Katherine Fraser 
at the National Association of State Boards of Education at 1-800-368-
5023, Extension 8572. Request to speak will be accommodated until all 
time slots are filled. Individuals who do not register in advance will 
be permitted to register and speak at the meeting in order of 
registration, if time permits. Each speaker is intended to have at 
least five minutes; the actual time available will be determined in 
part by the volume of registered speakers. While it is anticipated that 
all persons who desire will have an opportunity to speak, time limits 
may not allow this to occur. The National Association of State Boards 
of Education will make the final determination on advance selection and 
scheduling of speakers. People who register to give oral testimony will 
receive additional information, including issues to consider related to 
the National Academy of Sciences report entitled ``High Stakes,'' which 
contains recommendations about inclusion and accommodations in testing.
    Written testimony is invited and welcomed. All testimony will 
become part of the public record and will be considered by the 
Governing Board in developing policy for the voluntary national tests 
about inclusion and accommodations for students with disabilities and 
students with limited English proficiency.

Written Statements

    Written statements submitted for the public record should be 
postmarked by November 15, 1998 and mailed to the following address: 
Mark D. Musick, Chairman, (Attention: Ray Fields), National Assessment 
Governing Board, 800 North Capitol Street NW, Suite 825, Washington, DC 
20002-4233.
    Written statements also may be submitted electronically by sending 
electronic mail (e-mail) to Ray__Fields@ED.GOV by November 15, 1998. 
Comments sent by e-mail must be submitted as an ASCII file avoiding the 
use of special characters and any form of encryption. Inclusion in the 
public record cannot be guaranteed for written statements, whether sent 
by mail or electronically, submitted after November 15, 1998.
    One or more members of the Governing Board will preside at each 
hearing. The proceedings will be recorded for print transcription. The 
hearings also can be signed for the hearing-impaired, upon advance 
request.

Additional Information

    Additional information will be sent prior to each hearing to 
individuals who register by the date indicated above for the respective 
hearings. The information to be sent will include: the procedures for 
the hearings, the schedule for providing oral testimony at each site, 
and the issues to address from the relevant National Academy of 
Sciences recommendations in the report ``High Stakes.''

Steps After Hearings

    A transcript will be prepared for each hearing as well as a written 
summary of the testimony. After the six hearings have been completed, 
two syntheses will be prepared of the testimony presented at all of the 
hearings, one covering issues and recommendations related to inclusion 
and accommodations in testing pertaining to students with disabilities 
and one covering issues and recommendations pertaining to students with 
limited English proficiency. A presentation on the hearings and the 
synthesis reports will be made at the March 1999 meeting of the 
Governing Board. The Governing Board will consider this information in 
formulating policy regarding inclusion and accommodations of students 
with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency in the 
proposed voluntary national tests.

Public Record

    A record of all Governing Board proceedings with respect to the 
public hearings will be available for inspection from 8 a.m. to 4:30 
p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays, in Suite 825, 
800 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20002.

    Dated: September 10, 1998.
Roy Truby,
Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board.
[FR Doc. 98-24722 Filed 9-14-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-M