The NAEP test is commonly described as a national, academic achievement test. It is actually far more, or far different, than that. To understand the NAEP test, that is, to understand its purpose and design, we must also recognize the role it plays in overall education policy at the national level.
Nationalizing education requires three fundamental components. The first of these is the creation of a national curriculum. This feat was accomplished, in part, by the passage of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act in 1994, and the School-To-Work: Opportunities Act, also passed in 1994.
The second component is federal legislation allowing the federal government to grant or withhold federal education dollars to states or schools dependent upon their compliance or noncompliance with the new federal mandates in order to force states and schools to accept the national system. This feature was adopted as part of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act also passed in 1994.
The third essential component of nationalizing education is the administration of a national test. The NAEP test fulfills this objective. That is, the NAEP test has become one of several ways by which the federal government monitors how well the states are doing in carrying out the federal objectives. In addition, and since education always teaches to the tests which are given, the NAEP test has become the primary vehicle by which the federal government is establishing a de facto national curriculum.
Not surprisingly, this de facto curriculum determined by the NAEP test is the same curriculum contained in the Goals 2000 and School-To-Work laws. This national curriculum consists of a cradle-to-grave education program which focuses upon:
1. Establishment of minimum
academic and performance standards,
2. Aggressive promotion of diversity and multiculturalism,
3. Advocacy of the basic precepts of earth-worship style environmentalism,
4. The vocationalizing of all education, and
5. Inculcation of other attitudes, beliefs and values which are in the process of being
determined and specified and which can be changed at any time.
How does the NAEP test both establish and measure the above curriculum? Following are some examples from the language arts portion of the 1996 NAEP test which illustrate how it does so. (This particular NAEP test was given to a student's mother accidentally. When she saw what the test was actually measuring, she was so outraged that she refused to return the test.) This NAEP test contains:
* Four questions which
constitute an exercise in diversity training where white settlers are described as
being in pursuit of the "yellow metal that they worship and that makes them crazy," and who "show little
respect for other people's needs," and who created a "barren land ... [where] you shall starve."
* Three questions which measure
the student's adoption of the values of radical environmentalism as
defined in the unratified UN treaty known as Agenda 21. This set of questions culminate in a written
composition question on environmentalism which instructs student to use "examples you have seen or
studied," thereby measuring how well the states and schools are indoctrinating our children with
* A written composition
question which probes the political views of our students by instructing them to
write a letter to their US senator in which they are required to identify which government programs they
want their senator to support financially.
* Four questions asking
students to identify which birth-to-first-grade programs they have participated in,
thereby providing information on the "success" of the curriculum in these programs as well as information
on the degree of participation in these programs and on the increase in participation from year to year.
* Six questions measuring Life
Work Planning, a central feature of School-to-Work, including a composition
question requiring students to identify which job they would like to apply for and also requiring students to do
a skills inventory and to write a resume which could be used with an application for the job they have selected.
* Five questions on "the
vocabulary of business," one question dealing with service learning, and one question
requiring students to choose between two competing government projects and to write a letter defending the
government project they have chosen.
As is obvious from the above examples, under the guise of testing language arts, the NAEP test is primarily measuring the goals, attitudes, beliefs and values of our students. This particular NAEP test contains 204 questions. Only 38 of these questions (19%) involve any kind of measurement of academic ability or achievement. The other 81% measure only the demographics, attitudes, values, beliefs and behavior of the student.
The NAEP test is totally consistent with the views of its creator, Ralph Tyler, who described his educational philosophy as follows: "The real purpose of education is not to have the instructor perform certain activities but to bring about significant changes in the students' patterns of behavior."
In addition, the value system measured by the NAEP is exactly the same as the value system contained in the Goals 2000/School-to-Work laws. The test has obviously been designed to measure how much "success" the various states and schools are having in indoctrinating their students with the federally-dictated belief-system. The NAEP also further solidifies and promotes that politically-correct, value-laden curriculum.
Because of the true nature of the NAEP test, we should not be surprised that neither teachers nor parents are allowed to see the test. This way the federal government can include any questions and content that it wishes to, while, at the same time, it cannot be held accountable by its citizens. The national system of education is designed to hold the citizens accountable to government, not to hold government accountable to its citizens
It should also be mentioned that in the UN World Declaration On Education For All, 1990, the United States agreed to adopt a national system of education which is aligned with a world education system. The world education curriculum contained in this international agreement includes all the items (1-6) outlined above. In this Declaration, the US also agreed to "establish procedures for monitoring [its] progress" in meeting the goals of the Declaration. The NAEP test meets this stipulation of the agreement.
The nature of the NAEP test presents our state and nation with at least three important questions: (1.) Is it wise to establish a national system of education including a mandated national curriculum? (2.) Is it acceptable for the federal government to determine not only the academic material its citizens