On Thursday, May 11, Christopher Klicka, Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel, testified before the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth, and Families, encouraging them to revamp the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). According to other speakers at the hearing, 12 states now compel school districts to participate in NAEP. This fact reinforces HSLDAs concern that NAEP may develop into a national test that, by default, would result in a national curriculumbecause what gets tested is what gets taught.
There is no real distinction between a national test and a national curriculum, because the national assessment frameworks created by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) will dictate a national curriculum framework. A national curriculum would prevent parents and teachers from tailoring instruction to the needs of their pupils.
Klicka asserted that NAEP is growing beyond its original mission, which was to evaluate student development in math and science, and is now branching into values-laden academic areas such as art, history, and economics. He argued that the NAEP test should be limited to its original intent and that the newly developed state level tests be eliminated, leaving only the national assessment by region.
A month later, the committee released the bill which included virtually all of HSLDAs recommended amendments.
On June 15, Klicka was also invited to present similar testimony before the NAGB Board, which creates and implements the NAEP test. Read HSLDAs recommendations at http://www.hslda.org/docs/issueslibrary.asp