Hambleton, BC professor to discuss MCAS issues

A point-counterpoint discussion, "MCAS and High Stakes Testing: Is it working? Is it fair?," between Ronald Hambleton of the School of Education and Walter Haney of Boston College will be presented on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 3-4:30 p.m. in 174-76 Campus Center.

Hambleton and Haney will cover such topics as the meaning of teaching-to-the-test in an educational system like MCAS, the quality of the MCAS assessments, myths and misconceptions about the MCAS, and student drop-out rates and grade retention.

Hambleton is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration (EPRA), chair of the Research and Evaluation Methods Program and executive director of the Center for Educational Assessment. He teaches graduate-level courses in educational and psychological testing, introductory and advanced item response theory and applications, classical test theory models and methods, and educational research methods, and offers seminars in applied measurement practices and special measurement topics. He has directed recently or co-directs currently, research contracts with the Law School Admissions Council, Educational Testing Service, Harcourt Educational Measurement, Microsoft, Massachusetts Department of Education, and the National Assessment Governing Board.

Haney is a professor in the Lynch School of Education and senior research associate at the Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy (CSTEEP) at Boston College. He teaches courses on educational applications of computers, management uses of computers in education, research on educational technology, courseware authoring and qualitative research methods. In 1995-96, he was director of the "Assessment in Middle Schools: Using Assessment to Guide Reform" project under a grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation Student Achievement Program. He has also been an expert witness on testing and assessment for the attorney general of New York in litigation concerning New York''s Standardized Testing Act of 1980 and for the U.S. Department of Justice in the Ayers v. Fordice,/i> federal court case.

The EPRA Education Policy Forum is sponsored by the School of Education, EPRA and the Center for Public Policy and Administration.

The event is open to the public; light refreshments will be served.