California, Here We Come!

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California, Here We Come!

The Center Welcomes the Return of In-Person AERA and NCME Conferences

After two years of virtual conferences, meetings, and just about everything else, Center professionals are excited to gather in San Diego from April 21-25 for the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Council of Measurement in Education (NCME). 

These conferences, particularly NCME, represent the professional home for most of us at the Center, where we present our latest research and get to learn from our national and international colleagues. We all learned how to operate quite effectively during the pandemic using Zoom and similar platforms, but there’s nothing like an in-person meeting for richer interactions, both formal and informal.

In addition to reconnecting with friends and colleagues, we are humbled and honored to be the first organization to ever receive the NCME Annual Award, which was established to recognize exceptional achievement during the previous three years. The award may be given to acknowledge an outstanding technical or scientific contribution to the public or the field of educational measurement. We are being recognized for the support we provided to state assessment and accountability leaders through our extensive guidance and advice offered via blogs and other papers. Further, the Center led the way on how best to analyze 2021 state assessment results to better understand the effects of the pandemic. This award is a testament to the tremendous leadership of our Board of Trustees and our brilliant and tireless professionals

Coordinating a conference of more than 2,000 participants is always a challenge, but doing so this year with both a virtual strand (April 8-9) and an in-person strand (April 22-24) is like coordinating multiple conferences at once. After the tragic death of Matt Gaertner, a dear friend of the Center and one of the program co-chairs, Leslie Keng stepped in to serve as a program co-chair…again! Our amazing colleague Leslie was the program co-chair in 2021, and a close friend of Matt’s, so it didn’t surprise us a bit that Leslie jumped in to serve as a program co-chair to honor Matt.  

Capping Off Our Summer 2021 Internships

The capstone project for Center for Assessment summer internships is the preparation of a conference proposal and presentation. This year, the work of four of our Summer 2021 interns and their mentors will be featured at the NCME conference. In addition to our interns, Center professionals will be found throughout the programs of both conferences. 

  • In a coordinated paper session organized by Scott Marion, Opportunity-to-Learn as a Means to Enhance Equity and Increase Understanding, Daniel Silver (USC) and Thao Vo (Washington State University) will present papers based on the work they conducted with Scott last summer. (Session 139, April 24, 8:00 – 9:30)
    • Daniel Silver - Coherence in an Opportunity-to-Learn Indicator System
    • Thao Vo - A Justice-orientated Framework for Opportunity-to-Learn Indicator Use
  • Ella Anghel (Boston College) participated in the virtual Research Blitz session earlier this month sharing her work, Methods Effect in a Game-Based Assessment, resulting from her project with mentor Will Lorié.
  • Allie Cooperman (University of Minnesota) will join Damian Betebenner, Nathan Dadey, and Adam van Iwaarden in discussing their work on analyzing, understanding, and communicating the effects of the pandemic on student learning in both a full-day virtual training session, Data Visualization and Analysis in the Era of COVID-19, and a Demonstration Session, Using GitHub for Open-Source Analytics, Reporting, and Dissemination of Research. (Session 132, April 23, 1:15 – 2:45)

Emerging Stronger from the Last Two Years…

It is no surprise that in other sessions, Center professionals will address the topics that have dominated our work, writing, and thinking over the past two years: equity and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on instruction and student learning. 

  • In a virtual paper session offered by the AERA Classroom Assessment SIG, Classroom Assessment: Exploring Fairness and Equity, Carla Evans will expand on a topic summarized in a previous post, with her paper, A Culturally Responsive Classroom Assessment Framework: The Intersections of Equity, Pedagogy, and Sociocultural Assessment. In this paper, she builds off of Stembridge’s six themes of CRE to present a conceptual framework for the design and/or evaluation of classroom formative and summative assessments that follow from culturally responsive teaching and learning experiences. (April 25, 8:00 – 9:30)
  • Leslie Keng, Scott Marion, and Chris Brandt will present papers in the Coordinated Paper Session, Methods to Investigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Assessment Results. (Session 67, April 22, 9:45 – 11:15)
    • Leslie and Scott will present a paper co-authored with Daniel Silver, Using Multiple Achievement Measures to Understand the Effects of COVID-19 on Student Learning.
    • Chris Brandt and Sophie Barnes (Harvard GSE) will present their paper, Understanding the Effects of the Pandemic When the State Test is Not Available, co-authored with Susan Lyons and Lily An.
  • Damian Betebenner organized the discussion session, Connecting COVID-19 Policy to Practice in Indiana Using State Assessment Data, that will feature Maggie Paino and Charity Flores from the Indiana Department of Education, along with the Center’s Adam Van Iwaarden. (Session 61, April 22, 8:00 – 9:30)

…While Not Forgetting The Topics That Bring Us Back Where We Started 

Finally, Center professionals are excited to join illustrious educational researchers in sharing the latest thinking on timely and enduring topics that are of perennial interest to the Center.

  • Erika Landl will join Caroline Wylie (ETS), Alison Bailey (UCLA), Heidi Andrade (University at Albany), and Kendra Pullen (Caddo Public Schools) in the Organized Discussion session, Components of a Well Balanced Assessment System, that will focus on how assessment directors can support classroom assessment that primarily is intended to meet the needs of teachers and students.(Session 105, April 23, 8:00 - 9:30)
  • Scott Marion, Suzanne Lane (University of Pittsburgh), and Greg Cizek (University of North Carolina) will participate in an Interactive Town Hall moderated by Jon Twing (Pearson) on Advancing Contemporary Validity Theory and Practice. This session promises to be engaging, perhaps a bit heated, and hopefully will deliver some funny moments. (Session 160, April 24, 2:30 – 4:00)
  • Brian Gong served as discussant for the virtual Coordinated Paper Session on April 9th addressing, The Viability and Validity of Through-year Assessments for Instructional and Summative Uses, a topic he has addressed in previous posts.
  • Damian Betebenner will serve as discussant for the coordinated paper session, Improving the Accuracy of Aggregate Growth Measures: Statistical Methods and Practical Challenges. (Session 119, April 23, 9:45 - 11:15)
  • Scott Marion will serve as discussant for a session, Innovative Assessment Systems Informing the Future of Educational Measurement, featuring lessons learned from participants in four projects authorized under the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (Session 107, April 23, 8:00 – 9:30); and 
  • Scott will also serve as discussant for a paper session addressing good, bad, and innovative approaches to Standard Setting. (Session 154, April 24, 1:15 – 2:15)

We Can Hardly Wait!

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego. Please drop into one of our sessions or at least grab us in the hallways to say hello. For those of you unable to make it to the conference, visit our website and resource library to download papers and presentations.

While we’re on the topic of conferences, the Center’s annual Reidy Interactive Lecture Series (RILS) will be live in Portsmouth, NH on September 22-23, 2022. See this page to learn more about past RILS conferences. More information on this year’s conference will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

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