Research Pioneers Guiding World's Largest Measurement Organization
- Tom Ewing
- Tom Ewing
Princeton, N.J. (November 16, 2011) —
While Educational Testing Service (ETS), may be known as the world's leading educational measurement organization, its foundation is built upon pioneering research. Four current experts illustrate and build upon that history as ETS Research Chairs. The chairs honor pioneers of educational measurement as well as today's scholars.
Over the last decade, ETS has named some of the nation's leading experts in educational measurement to fill its research chairs. For ETS they are also a way of attracting scholars and luminaries, plus keeping those it already has. The Research Chairs are:
- The Frederic M. Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics
- The Edmund W. Gordon Chair for Policy Evaluation and Research
- The Samuel J. Messick Chair in Validity
- The Norman O. Frederiksen Chair in Assessment Innovation
The Frederic M. Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics, was created in 2000, and is named after this pioneer in psychometrics who has been called the "Father of Modern Testing." The current holder, Robert J. Mislevy, assumed the Chair in 2010. He succeeded Paul W. Holland, first holder of the Lord Chair. Mislevy was professor in the Department of Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation, and an Affiliated Professor of Second Language Acquisition and of Survey Methods, at the University of Maryland, College Park when he was recruited to ETS.
The Edmund W. Gordon Chair for Policy Evaluation and Research was created in 2003 in honor of the man whom The New York Times once referred to as "the premier black psychologist of his generation." Gordon is a pioneer in educational assessment and professor emeritus at Yale and Columbia universities. In 2004, ETS President Kurt Landgraf named Michael T. Nettles, Senior Vice President of ETS's Policy Evaluation & Research Center, as the first holder of the Edmund W. Gordon Chair for Policy Evaluation and Research. Nettles, an expert on fairness in the educational system, worked as a research scientist at ETS from 1984 to 1989, and returned in 2003 to head ETS's policy research program.
The Samuel J. Messick Chair in Validity was established in 2008 and honors this leading authority in validity theory who worked at ETS for over three decades. Messick was a pioneer in the field of educational measurement, and his writing and practice in the area of validity was instrumental in helping ETS advance quality and equity in education. Michael Kane is the current chair and was appointed in 2009. Previously he was Research Director at the National Council of Bar Examiners. In addition, he had served as Vice President of Research, and as a Senior Research Scientist, at American College Testing, and as Director of Test Development at the National League of Nursing.
ETS's newest research chair is the Norman O. Frederiksen Chair in Assessment Innovation, named after a pioneer in constructed response, performance assessment and simulation. The current chair is Randy Bennett, who was appointed in 2010. Bennett began his employment at ETS in 1979 and specializes in research to advance cognitive science, technology, and measurement to create new approaches to assessment. Frederiksen was particularly interested in applying findings from cognitive psychology to testing, and in creating assessments that had positive impact on individuals and institutions. The CBAL™ project (Cognitively Based Assessment of, for and as Learning), which Bennett leads, carries on Frederiksen's legacy.
ETS's research chairs differ from those of the academic world as they reside within a nonprofit organization that creates, administers and scores more than 50 million tests every year.
"The four Research Chairs — and the scholars who hold them — are among ETS's most precious resources," says Ida Lawrence, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at ETS. "The chairs highlight the fact that ETS is a significant organization in terms of innovation and scientific status. You could say that the scientists holding the chairs are keeping us in touch with the future."
ETS is a business with a social mission — to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services — and this gives its research a practical orientation. Even very theoretical challenges are often approached in a down-to-earth way, as the chairs are keenly aware that they ultimately serve test takers around the world.
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org