Instructional Sensitivity Conference attracts national experts to discuss critical issue in educational policy and assessment

Thursday, October 17, 2013

November 13-15, 2013  | GCSAA, 1421 Research Park Drive, Lawrence, Kan.

Lawrence, Kan. — National experts in educational leadership, policy and assessment will gather in Lawrence Nov. 13-15 to discuss a critical topic in the areas of school accountability and teacher evaluation at the 2013 Instructional Sensitivity Conference (ISC), hosted by the University of Kansas’ Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI).

“The goal is to heighten interest, concern and scholarship within and beyond the educational research community,” AAI Director Neal Kingston said. “Every state is under increased pressure to use student assessment scores in teacher-performance evaluations. Our research tells us that many tests now used might not be appropriate for measuring the effectiveness of teachers. If a test is not sensitive to the students being taught, what is being taught and how it is being taught, it is not a fair way to evaluate students or teachers.”

Featuring more than 20 presenters from across the country and one from Germany, the conference is made possible in part by support from edCount LLC, Iowa Testing Programs, Measured Progress and Renaissance Learning.

Keynote speaker Jim Popham, professor emeritus in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of the foremost authorities on educational assessment, teaching and leadership. In “A Trip To Intolerability,” Popham will address the history of instructional sensitivity research, summarize current issues and controversies, and offer possible paths to improvement.

“America’s current evaluative use of test results is blatantly wrong-headed,” Popham said in describing his talk. “Yet educators, and especially members of the educational measurement community, blissfully tolerate this misusage. The presenter will describe how he became neurotically obsessed with instructional sensitivity and, thereafter, how we might ameliorate today’s intolerable situation.”

The conference will examine a diverse array of issues related to instructional sensitivity. For example:

“Because instructional sensitivity underlies so many significant issues, the conference is important. We hope to do more than merely raise awareness. We want the conference to inspire research breakthroughs,” said Stephen Court, partner in Educational Research and Evaluation, LLC, and co-chair of the conference’s planning committee. “In turn, we hope that the research breakthroughs will lead to significant improvements in policy, practice and outcomes.”

Learn more and register for the conference. Registration deadline is Nov. 1.

Presenters and conference staff will live Tweet this event. Follow on Twitter: #ISCatKU

About the Achievement & Assessment Institute
Established in 2012, AAI is the umbrella organization for four specialized educational research centers at KU. Directed by Kingston, professor in the Department of Psychology and Research in Education (PRE) in the School of Education, builds partnerships, products, and programs in educational practice, assessment, and evaluation. These initiatives benefit children, adults, communities, and publicly funded agencies at the local, state, and national levels.


Media Contact
Bill Woodard
Senior Editor, Communications
Achievement & Assessment Institute
The University of Kansas  | 785.864.1680

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