Rhetoric and Reality in International Large-Scale Assessment

13th William H. Angoff Memorial Lecture Now Available


Princeton, NJ (October 2, 2012) —

The newly-published William H. Angoff Lecture, "No Country Left Behind: Rhetoric and Reality of International Large-Scale Assessments," focuses on the nature and quality of comparative international assessments and outlines several caveats and cautions that policymakers should consider when interpreting the results.

Copies of the 13th Angoff Lecture are now available in both print and download, officials of Educational Testing Service announced today.

Michael J. Feuer, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) at The George Washington University, delivered the lecture before nearly 150 researchers, policymakers, association representatives, media and other educators gathered in Washington, D.C., last year.

Feuer focuses on three areas: inferring trends from snapshots, linking educational measures to national economic outcomes, and over relying on international assessments for high-stakes national education policy decisions.

"ETS is very pleased to feature Dean Feuer's thoughtful insights for our 13th William H. Angoff Memorial Lecture," says Ida Lawrence, ETS Senior Vice President of Research & Development. "He confirms that comparative educational data can help teachers teach, administrators govern schools and students learn.  However, everyone has to focus on gathering the right data and interpreting it correctly."

"To better understand U.S. student achievement and its role in ensuring a strong economy, we should work on improving the quality of international educational comparisons," Feuer says. "Learning from the efforts, accomplishments and circumstances in other countries is critical as we anticipate an increasingly complex and globally interdependent world."

Feuer explains that many people associate America's current economic situation with the state of the nation's education system and the goal of continued economic productivity and competitiveness is certainly linked to our educational performance. "But the extraordinary resilience of the American economy and the historical agility of the American education system should give us hope for our future."

"Good international educational comparisons should be a stimulus for broad and deep conversations about what the nation values in its school system, and what we need to do to improve student achievement and continue economic progress," Lawrence adds. "Dean Feuer's lecture is a must-read for everyone interested in this important topic."

About the William H. Angoff Memorial Lecture Series

The William H. Angoff Memorial Lecture Series was created in 1994 to honor the life and work of Bill Angoff. For more than 50 years, Angoff made major contributions to educational and psychological measurement. Aligned with Angoff's interests, this lecture series is devoted to relatively nontechnical discussions of important public interest issues related to educational measurement.

About ETS

ETS, a nonprofit organization, celebrates a 60-year history of advancing quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. In serving individuals, educational institutions and government agencies around the world, ETS customizes solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools. ETS today develops, administers and scores more than 50 million assessments in over 180 countries, at more than 9,000 locations worldwide.