[Federal Register: August 3, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 148)]
[Page 42110-42111]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Assessment Governing Board; Information Collection 

AGENCY: National Assessment Governing Board; Education.

ACTION: Notice of Information Collection Activity.


SUMMARY: This notice announces that the National Assessment Governing 
Board (NAGB) will submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the 
Office of Management and Budget for approval. The ICR is: An 
Investigation of Alternative Methods for Scale Anchoring and Item 
Mapping in the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

DATES: Public comments must be submitted on or before August 29, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted by August 29, 1999. 
Mail to Patricia Hanick, NAEP ALS Project Manager, ACT, Inc., 2255 
North Dubuque Road, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168. Copies of 
the complete ICR and accompanying appendices may be obtained from the 
NAEP ALS Project Manager at the address above.
    Comments may also be submitted electronically by sending electronic 
mail (e-mail) to Hanick@ACT.org. Electronic comments must be identified 
by the title of the ICR. No confidential business information should be 
submitted through e-mail.
    Information submitted as a comment concerning this document may be 
claimed confidential by marking any part of all of that information as

[[Page 42111]]

confidential business information (CBI). Information so marked will not 
be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR 
part 2. A copy of the comment that does not contain CBI must be 
submitted for inclusion in the public record. Information not marked 
confidential may be disclosed publicly by NAGB without prior notice.

Patricia Hanick, NAEP ALS Project Manager, ACT, Inc., 2255 North 
Dubuque Road, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168, Telephone: (319) 
337-1452 or (800) 525-6930, e-mail: Hanick@ACT.org.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic copies of this ICR can be 
obtained from the contact person listed above.

I. Information Collection Request

    NAGB is seeking comments on the following Information Collection 
Request (ICR).
    Title: An Investigation of Alternative Methods for Scale Anchoring 
and Item Mapping in the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
    Affected Entities: Parties affected by this information collection 
are persons included in a broadly representative sample including 
persons identified as panelists for field trials, pilot studies, 
achievement levels-setting (ALS) meetings, and validation research for 
the 1996 Science NAEP.
    Abstract: The purpose of this information collection activity is to 
gather information for NAGB regarding the selection of exemplar items 
from the 1996 Science NAEP. Exemplar items are used as one of the 
primary means of communicating student performance relative to the NAEP 
achievement levels. The criteria for selecting exemplar items is 
critical to the ``message'' portrayed by the items. Congress has deemed 
that the achievement levels must be shown to be reasonable, valid, and 
informative to the public.
    Part One of the study has been completed and examined the 
statistical criteria by comparing various scale anchoring and item 
mapping methodologies. The results of these systematic comparisons will 
be judged not only statistically, but also according to the degree to 
which they agree with expert judgments about item difficulty. This mail 
survey is designed to collect responses from the expert judges. Because 
these individuals have participated in the process of setting 
achievement levels from the 1996 Science NAEP, they are likely to be 
keenly interested in the ALS process.
    Each prospective respondent will be sent a copy of the achievement 
levels descriptions for one of the three grades assessed (4th, 8th or 
12th) along with a selection of approximately one-half of the items 
that have been released for public review for that grade. Items in the 
released blocks will be divided so that the distribution of items 
across the ACT NAEP-Like scale is approximately the same. The mailing 
will include an addressed, postage-paid envelope.
    Respondents will be asked to read the achievement levels 
descriptions carefully. They will be asked to provide their own 
judgments of the difficulty of the set of released items. Then they 
will be asked to indicate whether the item would be a good exemplar for 
Basic, Proficient, or Advanced levels. Finally respondents will be 
asked for their interpretation of reports of NAEP achievement data.
    The respondents' judgmental classifications will be compared to the 
``empirical'' classifications using the various statistical criteria. 
Respondents will have determined which, if any, achievement 
descriptions match the items best, with respect to the knowledge and 
skill required for a correct response. The mapping criterion that 
matches the content-based classification best would seem to represent 
the best statistical criterion to use in selecting exemplar items. 
Thus, the response criterion that categorized items by levels most 
frequently chosen by respondents will be considered the ``best'' 
criterion to use for selecting exemplar items.
    No third party notification or public disclosure burden is 
associated with this collection.
    Burden Statement: The estimated total respondent burden is 141 
hours, and the average burden per respondent is 1.0 hour. This is a 
one-time survey.
    Neither small business nor other small entities are included in the 

II. Request for Comments

    NAGB solicits comments to:
    (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is an 
appropriate method to determine the ``message'' portrayed by the items 
regarding the achievement levels to the public.
    (ii) Enhance the accuracy, quality, and utility of the information 
to be collected.
    (iii) Evaluate whether the design of this survey maximizes the 
response rate, i.e. the number of selected persons who will respond, 
given the desire to have the sample be broadly representative of 
persons with some interest in the educational progress of K-12 students 
in the general content of the discipline of science.
    Records are kept of all public comments and are available for 
public inspection at the U.S. Department of Education, National 
Assessment Governing Board, Suite 825, 800 North Capitol Street, N.W., 
Washington, D.C. from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Roy Truby,
Executive Director, National Assessment Governing Board.
[FR Doc. 99-19916 Filed 8-2-99; 8:45 am]