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Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework for the 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress

To what extent can young people analyze the pros and cons of a proposal to develop a new source of energy? Construct and test a model or prototype? Use the Internet to find and summarize data and information in order to solve a problem or achieve a goal?

The exploding growth in the world of technology and the need to answer questions similar to those above led the National Assessment Governing Board (Governing Board) to sponsor the development of a framework for a national assessment of technology and engineering literacy. For generations students have been taught about technology and have been instructed in the use of various technological devices, but there has been no way to know exactly what students understand about technologies and their effective use.

As the framework was being developed, it became clear that the terms "technology," "engineering," "information communication technology," "21st century skills," and "literacy" are defined and used in significantly different ways in formal and informal education, in standards, by professional organizations, and in legislation. Therefore, the framework development committees recommended a change of the framework title from "technological literacy" to "technology and engineering literacy" to encompass general literacy about the use, effects, and designing of technologies. The 2014 NAEP Technology and Engineering Framework is a statement about what should be expected of students in terms of their knowledge and skills with technology, written to be the basis for an assessment of technology and engineering literacy appropriate for all students. It opens the door to seeing what our K-12 students know about technology and engineering, in the same way that NAEP already assesses their knowledge and capabilities in reading, mathematics, science, and other subjects.