ETS R&D Staff Members Win National Awards for Contributions to Educational Research and Measurement
- Tom Ewing
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- Tom Ewing
Princeton, N.J. (May 10, 2010) —
Three Educational Testing Service (ETS) staff members won prestigious national awards at the joint annual meetings of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) and the American Educational Research Association (AERA), April 30 – May 4, in Denver, Colorado.
The recipients were Neil Dorans, Distinguished Presidential Appointee in ETS's Statistical and Psychometric Theory and Practice center; Michael Kane, Samuel Messick Chair in Test Validity; and Longjuan Liang, Psychometrician in the Higher Education unit of ETS's Statistical Analysis area.
"Once again, NCME and AERA have chosen to recognize ETS's talented research scientists and psychometricians," says Ida Lawrence, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at ETS. "Neil's and Michael's lifetime contributions to improving and advancing measurement, and Longjuan's cutting-edge research on a method for estimating item response functions more accurately, support our social mission and contribute to the science of measurement."
Dorans received the NCME Award for Career Contributions to Educational Measurement. The award honors living persons whose publications, presentations and professional activities over a career have had a widespread positive impact on the field of educational measurement. One of the nominators for the award had this to say about Dorans' contributions to measurement:
"He has conducted highly influential research that is grounded in real-world problems. In doing so, he has helped shape psychometric theory while simultaneously providing much-needed tools that are readily usable by practitioners. He has demonstrated great skill at communicating difficult concepts to both technical and nontechnical audiences, helping to bridge the gap between practitioners, test users and policy-makers. Through his tireless advocacy for improving measurement practices and his continued focus on maintaining score quality, he has exhibited an abiding love for the profession."
Kane received the AERA-ACT E.F. Lindquist Award, which is named in honor of the pioneering scholar and researcher who co-founded The American College Testing Program (ACT). The award is co-sponsored by AERA and ACT and given annually to acknowledge "a body of research, as opposed to a single work, of an empirical, theoretical, or integrative nature that, ideally, advances the twin goals of greater understanding and improved use of testing and measurement techniques."
Kane, who joined ETS in 2009, is the first holder of ETS's Samuel J. Messick Chair in Test Validity. He has written more than 75 journal articles and book chapters, including the chapter on validation in the fourth edition of Educational Measurement. In his long and distinguished career, Kane taught at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; the State University of New York at Stony Brook; the University of Iowa; and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Liang will receive NCME's Alicia Cascallar Award, which recognizes an outstanding paper by an early career scholar. She is being honored for her paper on an approach to estimating item response functions. One nominator noted why Liang deserves the award:
"The paper focuses on estimating item response functions (IRF) more accurately than the existing methods. More accurately estimated IRFs can lead to fairer examinee scores. Most of the works of Alicia Cascallar have been on test fairness and she would be happy to learn of Longjuan's contributions to the field of educational measurement."
The individual awards were not the only honors ETS employees took away from the conference. AERA's Adult Literacy and Adult Education Special Interest Group selected an ETS-authored conference paper, Changes in Practices and Perceptions of Low Level Adult Literacy Learners, for the group's Outstanding Paper award. The paper's authors are ETS staff members Jane Shore, Research Scientist; Jennifer Lentini, Senior Research Assistant; John Sabatini, Senior Research Scientist; and Steven Holtzman, Associate Research Data Analyst.
The paper reports on a study of reading interventions for adults with low literacy levels. It describes how adults' reading habits, practices and self-perceptions about reading and reading-related behaviors changed after they completed a series of evidence-based reading tutorials designed for the study.
In addition to the award winners, Linda Cook, Principal Research Scientist in ETS's Center for Validity Research, was recently elected to serve as Vice-President (and President-elect) of NCME. She also serves on the joint American Psychological Association/American Educational Research Association/National Council on Measurement in Education Committee for the Revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, and has just completed a three-year term as Vice President, AERA Division D, Measurement and Research Methodology. In announcing the results of the elections, Terry Ackerman, out-going President of NCME, said, "We are fortunate to have such capable individuals willing to serve NCME in these capacities."
At nonprofit 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 in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries. www.ets.org