CONGRATULATING NATIONAL ASSESSMENT GOVERNING BOARD; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 41
(House of Representatives - March 09, 2009)

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[Pages H3083-H3085]
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           CONGRATULATING NATIONAL ASSESSMENT GOVERNING BOARD

  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to 
the resolution (H. Res. 222) congratulating the National Assessment 
Governing Board on its 20th Anniversary in measuring student academic 
achievement.
  The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
  The text of the resolution is as follows:

                              H. Res. 222

       Whereas the National Assessment Governing Board (the 
     Governing Board) is an independent, bipartisan board created 
     by Congress in 1988 to set policy for the National Assessment 
     of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as ``The 
     Nation's Report Card'';
       Whereas the Governing Board is made up of 26 members, 
     including Governors, State legislators, local and State 
     school officials, educators, researchers, business 
     representatives, and members of the general public;
       Whereas when Congress established the Governing Board to 
     oversee The Nation's Report Card, it ensured that the NAEP 
     would be conducted independently and free from inappropriate 
     influences and special interests;
       Whereas in overseeing The Nation's Report Card, the 
     Governing Board identifies subjects to be assessed, 
     determines the content and achievement levels for each 
     assessment, and approves all assessment questions;
       Whereas The Nation's Report Card is conducted as a 
     representative sample and currently includes National NAEP 
     assessments (which assess the performance of students in 
     grades 4, 8, and 12 in reading, mathematics, writing, 
     science, U.S. history, geography, and other subjects), State-
     by-State assessments (which are administered to students in 
     grades 4 and 8 to access performance in reading, mathematics, 
     writing, and science), Trial Urban District assessments 
     (which report on the achievement of 4th and 8th grade 
     students in 18 urban school districts that participate in 
     reading, mathematics, writing and science assessments), and 
     long-term trend assessments (which are administered 
     nationally every 4 years to students ages 9, 13, and 17 to 
     assess performance in reading and mathematics);
       Whereas State participation in NAEP assessments is 
     voluntary with the exception of reading and mathematics 
     assessments, which States are required to administer to 
     public school students in grades 4 and 8 every 2 years in an 
     effort to measure student performance in reading and 
     mathematics;
       Whereas all students who participate in NAEP do so on a 
     voluntary basis and NAEP is forbidden by law to maintain or 
     report information on individual students or schools;

[[Page H3084]]

       Whereas the Governing Board works to inform the public 
     about The Nation's Report Card by communicating its results 
     to a wide range of Americans, including educators, the media, 
     and elected officials and policymakers at the National, 
     State, and local levels; and
       Whereas the Governing Board has served an important role in 
     evaluating the condition and progress of American education 
     for 20 years: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
       (1) congratulates the National Assessment Governing Board 
     on its 20th anniversary in measuring student academic 
     achievement; and
       (2) recognizes past and present members of the National 
     Assessment Governing Board for their service to the Nation in 
     improving elementary and secondary education.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Woolsey) and the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California.


                             General Leave

  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I request 5 legislative days during which 
Members may revise and extend and insert extraneous materials on H. 
Res. 222 into the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 222, which recognizes 
the 20th anniversary of the National Assessment Governing Board. The 
National Assessment Governing Board is a bipartisan, independent 
Federal board that sets policy for the National Assessment of Education 
Progress, or NAEP. NAEP assessments are often referred to as the 
Nation's report card because these tests are the principal source of 
data on student achievement nationwide.
  NAEP is a congressionally authorized project of the National Center 
for Education Statistics. The governing board created by Congress in 
1988 is made up of governors, State legislators, State and school 
officials, educators and researchers, all of whom oversee NAEP, 
identify subjects to be tested and govern reporting of test results.
  When Congress established the governing board, we instructed that it 
be bipartisan and that it be independent, and it has lived up to these 
expectations and the original vision. The NAEP assessment has been 
invaluable in providing information on the achievements of students at 
grades 4, 8, and 12 in reading, mathematics, writing, science, U.S. 
history, geography and other subjects.
  The NAEP State-by-State assessments, which are administered to 
students in grades 4 and 8 in reading, mathematics, writing and 
science, have also been helpful in charting what our students know and 
providing information for a path forward based on real results.
  This year, Mr. Speaker, the governing board commemorates 20 years of 
learning and assessment. To mark this anniversary, the governing board 
plans to examine the impact of NAEP over the past two decades and look 
ahead to see how the assessment can continue to play a vital role in 
measuring student achievement in the future.
  In order to highlight these priorities, the board will host a 
conference to discuss the achievement gap in college and work 
preparedness with education and policy experts. The governing board has 
served an important role in evaluating the condition and progress of 
American education for 20 years.
  I thank the governing board for its outstanding service to the Nation 
in improving elementary and secondary education.
  Mr. Speaker, once again I express my support for the National 
Assessment Governing Board, and I urge my colleagues to join me in 
recognizing their 20th anniversary. I also want to thank the gentleman 
from Delaware (Mr. Castle) for bringing this bill to the floor, and I 
urge my colleagues to support this resolution.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Resolution 222, which 
congratulates the National Assessment Governing Board on its 20th 
anniversary in measuring student academic achievement. Over the last 
two decades, the governing board, better known as NAGB, has served an 
important role in evaluating the condition and progress of the American 
public education system.
  The National Assessment Governing Board was created by Congress in 
1988 to set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 
or NAEP, which is commonly known as the Nation's report card. It was 
established as an independent, bipartisan board so that the Nation's 
assessment system will be conducted independently and free from 
inappropriate influences and special interests.
  The governing board is currently made up of 26 members, including 
governors, State legislators, local and State school officials, 
educators, researchers, business representatives and members of the 
general public. In overseeing the Nation's report card, the governing 
board identifies subjects to be assessed, determines the content and 
achievement levels for each assessment, and approves all the assessment 
questions.
  It also works to inform the public about the Nation's report card by 
communicating results to a wide range of Americans, including elected 
officials and policymakers at the national, State and local levels, 
educators and the media.
  Because of this important work, the Nation's report card is one of 
the most widely respected assessment tools in the country. Federal, 
State and local officials rely on NAGB and NAEP to get an accurate 
picture of the academic achievement levels of the Nation's students.
  In 2002, Congress passed the Education Sciences Reform Act, which 
reauthorized the activities of the governing board and largely 
maintained its independent and bipartisan nature. While requiring 
States to take part every 2 years in its reading and mathematics 
assessments in grades 4 and 8 in an effort to measure student 
performance, the bill continues the long-standing practice that State 
participation in NAEP assessments are voluntary.
  All student who participate in NAEP do so on a voluntary basis, and 
NAEP is forbidden by law to maintain a report or report information on 
individual students or schools. House Resolution 222 congratulates the 
National Assessment Governing Board on its 20th anniversary in 
measuring student academic achievement and recognizes the past and 
present members of the governing board for their service to the Nation 
in improving elementary and secondary education.
  I want to thank my colleague from Delaware (Mr. Castle) for 
introducing this resolution. Mr. Castle served on the governing board 
when he was Governor of ``The First State,'' and I want to thank him 
for his service and for his strong support for ensuring that students 
have access to a high-quality education in this country.
  I am pleased to rise in support of this important resolution and ask 
all of my colleagues to support it.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield as much time as he may consume to 
the gentleman from Delaware (Mr. Castle).
  Mr. CASTLE. I thank the gentleman from Kentucky for yielding, and I 
would like to thank both of the speakers, Ms. Woolsey and the gentleman 
from Kentucky, for rationally explaining a program not many people 
understand.
  Mr. Speaker, I did have the opportunity and the pleasure of serving 
on NAGB, the National Assessment Governing Board, for several years 
when I was Governor of Delaware, and it was not easy work, by the way. 
I would call it a pleasure, but it involves a lot of difficult 
meetings, discussion of testing or whatever it may be.
  But the bottom line is that they do put together the National 
Assessment of Educational Progress, the NAEP tests, which are given 
universally as far as the States are concerned, in our country, and are 
as good a measuring device as we have to the progress of education from 
year to year. Some of this is quite voluntary, but all States 
participate in it in grades 4, 8 through 12, particularly in the 
reading and the math areas, and we can determine that we have done 
somewhat better, perhaps

[[Page H3085]]

a lot better from year to year, as we look at these tests.
  I can tell you that those 26 people, who change from time to time and 
come from a variety of different backgrounds, are all very dedicated to 
the concept of making this very apolitical, of making it so that it's a 
fair standard in tests for all those who are going to take it, and 
making sure that all the reporting requirements are met in a proper 
way. This goes through the Secretary of Education and is reported by 
them, and I think they would do a wonderful job with this.
  This is, to me, a very important measuring stick. While 
congratulatory resolutions may not be the most important thing we do in 
the Congress of the United States, I think recognizing an entity such 
as this, which is independent of us and independent of the White House, 
for all that matters, and deals with preparing this kind of reporting, 
this kind of background for the testing, is a very significant thing to 
do to make sure that they are being honored for an achievement which I 
think has been very helpful in terms of dealing with education.
  All of us deal with education policy on a regular basis. We know how 
important it is to understand that what we are doing is perhaps a step, 
a small step or a large step in the right direction, and I think that 
the NAEP tests do that.
  For that reason I would hope that we could all support this 
resolution. Again, I thank those who spoke on the floor for their very 
thorough and excellent explanations of what NAGB does and what NAEP is 
all about.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. I reserve my time for closing remarks.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H. Res. 
222, recognizing the 20th anniversary of the National Assessment 
Governing Board, and I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey) that the House suspend the 
rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 222.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.

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