Governing Board Awards WestEd $1.86 Million Contract to Develop First-Ever Technological Literacy Framework

Article excerpt

For the first time ever, technological literacy will be part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation's Report Card[TM]. The first step toward this unprecedented assessment was announced October 6, 2008 by the National Assessment Governing Board, which awarded WestEd a $1.86 million contract to develop the 2012 NAEP Technological Literacy Framework.

Under this new contract, awarded after a competitive bidding process, WestEd--a national education research and development organization based in San Francisco--will recommend the framework and test specifications for the 2012 NAEP Technological Literacy assessment. Ultimately, this task will lead to ways to define and measure students' knowledge and skills in understanding important technological tools. Governing Board members will then decide which grade level--4th, 8th, or 12th--will be tested in 2012.

The NAEP Technological Literacy Assessment is the country's first nationwide assessment of student achievement in this area. The work comes at a time when there are no nationwide requirements or common definition for technological literacy. Few states have adopted separate tests in this area, even as more business representatives and policymakers voice concern about American students' abilities to compete in a global marketplace and keep up with quickly evolving technology.

Several groups will assist WestEd for this 18-month project, including the Council of Chief State School Officers and the International Technology Education Association. With this assistance, WestEd plans to convene two committees that will include technology experts, engineers, teachers, scientists, business representatives, state and local policymakers, and employers from across the country. …