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Into The Great Known

In my last post, Right Before Our Very Eyes, I called on assessment specialists to focus their efforts on understanding and explaining observed scores. This post, which could have had the same title, is a reminder that, in general, educational assessment involves dealing with known quantities.  The purpose of 99.9% of educational assessment is not to…

Right Before Our Very Eyes

It’s time for educational measurement, or at least assessment specialists, to say goodbye to latent traits, hidden constructs, and true scores. They are useful concepts, in theory. In practice, well, they really haven’t helped us provide useful information to stakeholders, and that is the name of the game. Admit it, you were a bit skeptical…

Ars Gratia Artis

I took five years of Latin at Boston Latin School. I was a music major at Harvard with a focus on the history of Renaissance music. I chose to pursue a career in state testing. I offer these experiences as evidence that I am uniquely qualified to address questions such as “What is the value…

A Christmas Carol (Testing Version)

State testing was dying; to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The actions, or more aptly put, the inactions taken by the assessment community over the years had signed the death warrant. It seemed clear that all that remained was to wait for the bell to toll. Times up. Pencils down. It…

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“Man stands face to face with the irrational. He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.” – Albert Camus

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