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”

Another Term Bites The Dust

Florida Man Steals $33,000 Worth of Rare Coins, Cashes Them in for $29.30 Florida Man Fire Bombs Garage That Impounded His Car, Hits His Own Vehicle Florida Man Bastardizes The Term Progress Monitoring We have come to expect, even look forward to, the zany “news” stories that begin with the two-word phrase, “Florida Man.” AtContinue reading “Another Term Bites The Dust”

A Changing Nation, A Changing Framework

The US Census and NAEP, two of my favorite topics to write about, have been in the news recently because of changes. Last week, data from the 2020 Census was released summarizing changes to the racial/ethnic makeup of the United States across the last several Census counts. Earlier this month, NAEP also made news, albeitContinue reading “A Changing Nation, A Changing Framework”

If Only It Were As Simple As Rocket Science

Mark Schneider and Kumar Garg’s recent call for a SpaceX for assessment and the responses to it by Chester Finn and Anne Wicks, prominent among others, highlight the complexities of  large-scale testing and the challenges associated with trying to improve K-12 assessment. Sadly, even if our fractured field were somehow able to address the manyContinue reading “If Only It Were As Simple As Rocket Science”

Do It Anyway

I have discussed re-imagining assessment and offered cautions to the assessment/educational measurement community as we enter the next once-in-a-generation period of re-imagining and reinventing assessment, particularly large-scale testing.  In this post, I synthesize those thoughts into a straightforward recommendation to the field: When we truly re-imagine assessment, in virtually all cases, we are doing soContinue reading “Do It Anyway”

Making Meaning from Mean Differences

There are few constants in this quickly- and ever-changing world. One of those, however, has been that there will be group differences on state tests, and those differences will be quite predictable. So, we find group differences in mean scores on the state test. Differences that we knew that we would find, the very sameContinue reading “Making Meaning from Mean Differences”

Re-Imagining Assessment at NCSA

This month, we celebrate golden anniversary of the CCSSO National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA) and with it, 50 years of innovation in assessment.  The theme for the 2021 virtual conference is Re-Imagining Assessment. That theme is particularly well-suited for the annual assessment conference that I remember fondly as large-scale (short for the National Conference onContinue reading “Re-Imagining Assessment at NCSA”