Throwing the Switch on High School Reform

The rhetoric surrounding high school reform has gone off the rails and it’s time to get it back on track. Michael Petrilli caused quite the little kerfuffle earlier this month when he dared to use the dreaded “t-word” in a favorable way with regard to high schools in the United States. Apparently, he first utteredContinue reading “Throwing the Switch on High School Reform”

Build Back Better: School Accountability

Or Thirteen Thoughts on Making School Accountability Great Again Stop turning to assessment specialists for advice about school accountability Well, if you take my advice seriously this was a pretty short read. If you choose to read on, do so at your own risk. On a good day assessment specialists have a pretty good handleContinue reading “Build Back Better: School Accountability”

Another Nice Mess You’ve Gotten Me Into

Things change. It’s inevitable. Sometimes the changes are big, sudden, and can’t be missed. Sometimes they are much more subtle, occurring gradually over a long period of time. Some changes are deliberately planned, years and “steps” in advance: first we’ll change A, then B, then C. Some changes are the unintended consequence of another change:Continue reading “Another Nice Mess You’ve Gotten Me Into”

Vive La Variance!

To educate is to change. Instruction and learning are about change. Educational measurement is defined by variance. Literally. The fundamental concepts in the field are expressed in terms of variance. One of the first techniques that we learn as eager young graduate students is analysis of variance. Without variance, our lives as psychometricians, much likeContinue reading “Vive La Variance!”

Adrift at “C” with IRT

For the past three decades we have weathered the storm of test-based accountability in a skiff called IRT. Buttressed only with a few psychometric tools, loosely defined unidimensional latent constructs, and the promise of measurement invariance we have been buffeted by wind and waves, sometimes taking on water, sometimes finding ourselves run aground in shallowContinue reading “Adrift at “C” with IRT”

Render Unto Caesar What Is Caesar’s

How do you innovate in large-scale state testing while continuing to meet federal assessment and accountability requirements? That, essentially, was the question addressed by the Center for Assessment team and state leaders in the final session of the Center’s virtual Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS). Specifically, the session featured interviews with leaders in states currentlyContinue reading “Render Unto Caesar What Is Caesar’s”