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Letter to Representatives Petri and Wu supporting the Assessment Accuracy and Improvement Act (H.R. 3979)

April 10, 2008

Dear Representatives Petri and Wu:

On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we convey our support for your bill, the Assessment Accuracy and Improvement Act (H.R. 3979), which would allow states to use "adaptive" tests to assess student achievement as required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Adaptive tests are generally administered on computers and widely used -- the Graduate Record Examination is perhaps the best known example of these tests. They vary in difficulty with each student's performance, but report results on a scale common to all students. Adaptive tests are more flexible and therefore more efficient to administer. The same instrument can, for example, assess student achievement above and below grade level, while also measuring grade-level performance.

We are pleased to offer our support for this important endeavor. As you know, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education on November 14, 2007. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to further your efforts to make it a part of the coming reauthorization of ESEA.


Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy