Education

Testing

October 16, 2002 | Corrected: February 23, 2019 2 min read

Corrected: This story gave incorrect information about a new center for advanced studies in measurement and assessment at the University of Iowa. The center will be a unit within the college of education. The Iowa Testing Programs will remain an independent unit within the college, as will an existing center for evaluation and assessment.

New Center

The University of Iowa, home to the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, widely used standardized exams, has announced plans to open a center for advanced studies in measurement and assessment.

Robert Brennan, who will step down as the head of the Iowa Testing Programs, which includes the ITBS, will direct the center. It will house both the testing program and the university’s existing center for evaluation and assessment.

Sandra Bowman Damico, the dean of the college of education, said she hoped the center would “solidify the college’s reputation as the place where cutting-edge work was being done on many of the issues receiving national attention.”

Mr. Brennan said, “Although the center will start small, it is my goal that in time it will become widely recognized as a premier interdisciplinary center for research on measurement issues.”

One of the center’s first undertakings will be to organize a national conference on validity in testing for next fall.

Accountability Guide

For more information, see www.rand.org/edu_area.

The RAND Corp., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based research group, has published a guide to help policymakers and educators improve test-based accountability in education.

“Making Sense of Test-Based Accountability in Education,” edited by researchers Laura S. Hamilton, Brian M. Stecher, and Stephen P. Klein, includes information on the history of large-scale assessment, technical criteria for evaluating tests, the consequences of high-stakes testing on schools and classrooms, and advice for improving existing accountability systems.

Technology and Testing

The Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment is available online.

The Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy at Boston College has launched an online journal that focuses on the applications of computers to assessment, and addresses the effect of that technology on teaching and learning.Technology and Testing: The Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy at Boston College has launched an online journal that focuses on the applications of computers to assessment, and addresses the effect of that technology on teaching and learning.

The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment is a peer-reviewed journal. The first issues have focused on current and developing uses of computers in assessment, automated essay scoring, gauging students’ problem- solving skills with complex computer-based tasks, and investigating children’s emerging digital literacy.

The new venture is jointly subsidized by contributions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

—Lynn Olson lolson@epe.org

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