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(a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established the National Assessment Governing Board (hereafter in this title referred to as the Board), which shall formulate policy guidelines for the National Assessment.

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(b) MEMBERSHIP-

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(1) APPOINTMENT AND COMPOSITION- The Board shall be appointed by the Secretary and be composed as follows:

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(A) Two Governors, or former Governors, who shall not be members of the same political party.

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(B) Two State legislators, who shall not be members of the same political party.

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(C) Two chief State school officers.

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(D) One superintendent of a local educational agency.

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(E) One member of a State board of education.

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(F) One member of a local board of education.

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(G) Three classroom teachers representing the grade levels at which the National Assessment is conducted.

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(H) One representative of business or industry.

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(I) Two curriculum specialists.

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(J) Three testing and measurement experts, who shall have training and experience in the field of testing and measurement.

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(K) One nonpublic school administrator or policymaker.

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(L) Two school principals, of whom one shall be an elementary school principal and one shall be a secondary school principal.

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(M) Two parents who are not employed by a local, State or Federal educational agency.

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(N) Two additional members who are representatives of the general public, and who may be parents, but who are not employed by a local, State, or Federal educational agency.

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(2) ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH- The Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Board.

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(3) BALANCE AND DIVERSITY- The Secretary and the Board shall ensure at all times that the membership of the Board reflects regional, racial, gender, and cultural balance and diversity and that the Board exercises its independent judgment, free from inappropriate influences and special interests.

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(c) TERMS-

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(1) IN GENERAL- Terms of service of members of the Board shall be staggered and may not exceed a period of 4 years, as determined by the Secretary.

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(2) SERVICE LIMITATION- Members of the Board may serve not more than two terms.

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(3) CHANGE OF STATUS- A member of the Board who changes status under subsection (b) during the term of the appointment of the member may continue to serve as a member until the expiration of such term.

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(4) CONFORMING PROVISION- Members of the Board previously granted 3 year terms, whose terms are in effect on the date of enactment of the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2001, shall have their terms extended by 1 year.

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(d) VACANCIES-

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(1) IN GENERAL-

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(A) ORGANIZATIONS- The Secretary shall appoint new members to fill vacancies on the Board from among individuals who are nominated by organizations representing the type of individuals described in subsection (b)(1) with respect to which the vacancy exists.

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(B) NOMINATIONS- Each organization submitting nominations to the Secretary with respect to a particular vacancy shall nominate for such vacancy six individuals who are qualified by experience or training to fill the particular Board vacancy.

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(C) MAINTENANCE OF BOARD- The Secretarys appointments shall maintain the composition, diversity, and balance of the Board required under subsection (b).

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(2) ADDITIONAL NOMINATIONS- The Secretary may request that each organization described in paragraph (1)(A) submit additional nominations if the Secretary determines that none of the individuals nominated by such organization have appropriate knowledge or expertise.

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(e) DUTIES-

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(1) IN GENERAL- In carrying out its functions under this section the Board shall —

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(A) select the subject areas to be assessed (consistent with section 411(b));

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(B) develop appropriate student achievement levels as provided in section 411(e);

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(C) develop assessment objectives consistent with the requirements of this section and test specifications that produce an assessment that is valid and reliable, and are based on relevant widely accepted professional standards;

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(D) develop a process for review of the assessment which includes the active participation of teachers, curriculum specialists, local school administrators, parents, and concerned members of the public;

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(E) design the methodology of the assessment to ensure that assessment items are valid and reliable, in consultation with appropriate technical experts in measurement and assessment, content and subject matter, sampling, and other technical experts who engage in large scale surveys, including the Advisory Council established under section 407;

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(F) consistent with section 411, measure student academic achievement in grades 4, 8, and 12 in the authorized academic subjects;

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(G) develop guidelines for reporting and disseminating results;

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(H) develop standards and procedures for regional and national comparisons; and

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(I) take appropriate actions needed to improve the form, content, use, and reporting of results of any assessment authorized by section 411 consistent with the provisions of this section and section 411.

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(2) DELEGATION- The Board may delegate any of the Boards procedural and administrative functions to its staff.

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(3) ALL COGNITIVE AND NONCOGNITIVE ASSESSMENT ITEMS- The Board shall have final authority on the appropriateness of all assessment items.

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(4) PROHIBITION AGAINST BIAS- The Board shall take steps to ensure that all items selected for use in the National Assessment are free from racial, cultural, gender, or regional bias and are secular, neutral, and non-ideological.

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(5) TECHNICAL- In carrying out the duties required by paragraph (1), the Board may seek technical advice, as appropriate, from the Commissioner and the Advisory Council on Education Statistics and other experts.

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(6) REPORT- Not later than 90 days after an evaluation of the student achievement levels under section 411(e), the Board shall make a report to the Secretary, the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate describing the steps the Board is taking to respond to each of the recommendations contained in such evaluation.

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(f) PERSONNEL-

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(1) IN GENERAL- In the exercise of its responsibilities, the Board shall be independent of the Secretary and the other offices and officers of the Department.

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(2) STAFF-

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(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may appoint, at the request of the Board, such staff as will enable the Board to carry out its responsibilities.

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(B) TECHNICAL EMPLOYEES- Such appointments may include, for terms not to exceed 3 years and without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, not more than six technical employees who may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.

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(g) COORDINATION- The Commissioner and the Board shall meet periodically —

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(1) to ensure coordination of their duties and activities relating to the National Assessment; and

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(2) for the Commissioner to report to the Board on the Departments actions to implement the decisions of the Board.

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(h) ADMINISTRATION- The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply with respect to the Board, other than sections 10, 11, and 12 of such Act..

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