The National Council on Education Standards and Testing was established by Congress in 1991 (P.L. 102-62; 102 Stat. 305). It may have had the worst acronym for any governmental entity ever—NCEST.
The council was created for the purpose of providing “advice on the desirability and feasibility of national standards and testing in education.”
NCEST had 32 members, most of whom were appointed by the Secretary of Education. NCEST was tasked with issuing its report by December 31, 1991.
The National Council On Education Standards and Testing (NCEST) met its deadline, publishing Raising Standards for American Education, which advocated national standards and assessments. RAND took issue with the findings, offering critical testimony before Congress. NCEST’s statute authorized $1 million in appropriations to do its work, and required it to disband 90 days after submission of its report.
The National Education Goals Reports provide a trove of education data. Reading them also gives the researcher a feel for the big subjects of the tumultuous federal schooling debates of the 1990s. Additionally, the movement to establish education standards grew out of the effort to reach education goals—standards being the benchmarks for progress thereto.(1) The National Education Goals reports were published by the National Education Goals Panel (NEGP). This organization formed after the historic 1989 Charlottesville education summit, which was attended by governors and President George H.W. Bush. NEGP was established to report annually on the nation’s progress toward the nation’s education goals. The 1994 Goals 2000: Educate America Act (Sections 201-207) gave federal statutory recognition to NEGP, which further heightened its position in the education policy debates of the time. NEGP was effectively abolished by Section 1011 of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002. Continue reading
The Politics of Education Association (PEA) is a group of mostly academics who study education policy in the United States. Unlike this website, PEA’s does not focus solely on the federal government’s role in schooling. PEA’s scholars study education policy and politics at the state and local levels too.
PEA’s membership includes many renown experts, and it publishes newsletter, a year book, and a biannual issue of the Peabody Education Journal.
You can learn more about PEA at http://www.fsu.edu/~pea/