Mary Marguerite Murphy of Five Town Consolidated School District in Rockport was one of 90 panelists chosen to help with the study for setting achievement standards for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress in science for grades four, eight and 12.

The panelists, who were selected from a nationwide pool of nearly 700 nominees, were chosen for their contributions to science instruction and to their communities. Panelists met in San Antonio with staff from ACT Inc. and other science experts for four days of activities from Jan. 28 to Jan. 31. The activities related to judging the performance of U.S. students on the NAEP science assessment according to the standards for achievement established by the National Assessment Governing Board.

NAEP periodically tests selected numbers of fourth-, eighth- and 12th-grade U.S. students in various academic subjects. Achievement levels in science are being redeveloped because of recent changes in the NAEP science framework. Previous achievement levels were developed in 1996. Student performance based on the new criteria being developed will be reported later this year by the U.S. Secretary of Education in the Nation’s Report Card for Science. The criteria will then be held as a benchmark for future testing to determine whether the U.S. has made any progress in science instruction.

ACT Inc. produces the ACT, the college admission and placement exam taken annually by millions of high school students and accepted by all major colleges and universities across the country.