Friday, June 18, 2010

New Test Development by the National Center on Education and the Economy

I was reading an interesting article this morning in the Economist entitled "Too Narrow, Too Soon? America’s Misplaced Disdain for Vocational Education" The article is supportive of career and technology education, but I wanted to share a paragraph concerning a new test under development that will interest you:
In the meantime, a bold new programme is inching forward. The National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), a think-tank, is developing a test that students may take in their second year of high school. On passing, they could proceed to a community college or stay in high school to apply to a four-year university. Those who fail would take extra courses to help them pass. A pilot programme, supported by the Gates Foundation, will begin in eight states next year. Some parents are already outraged by the imagined spectre of tracking. Marc Tucker, who leads the NCEE, argues that a path to a community college might keep students engaged. Such a system would provide students with more opportunity, not less.
NCEE's website has the following statement concerning the test development if you would like to lend your expertise:
NCEE Seeks Board Examination Systems
NCEE has been selected as the project manager for a Race to the Top High School Course Assessment Grant application to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of the State Consortium on Board Examination Systems on June 23, 2010. In preparation for submitting the application, NCEE would like any organization that has developed Board Examination Systems for use at the high school level to submit information about those programs to NCEE so that we are aware of those programs and understand each offering. We are defining Board Examination Systems as instructional systems for use in high schools consisting of coherent programs of study that include: syllabi, instructional materials aligned with the syllabi, high quality examinations intended to measure the extent to which a student has mastered the syllabus, examination scoring services and professional development for teachers who will teach the courses. We are interested in programs of study that include, at a minimum, English, mathematics, science and history. In addition, we welcome any information from organizations that provide similar programs of study in STEM and Career/Technical Education fields.

The State Consortium on Board Examination Systems also plans to issue an RFQ to organizations that wish to be certified by SCOBES to offer Board Examination Systems to students in member states. If you wish to receive a notice of this RFQ or you wish to send us other information about your program(s), please send information to: National Center on Education and the Economy, 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 5300, Washington, DC 20006 attn: BES RFQ or by email to Subject: BES RFQ

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