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A History Of Evaluation

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Madhabi Chatterji (TC file photos)

Madhabi Chatterji (TC file photos)

TC’s legacy in measurement, assessment and evaluation dates back to 1904, when education psychologist Edward L. Thorndike published An Introduction to the Theory of Mental and Social Measurements, since hailed as the first textbook to define the knowledge base now known as classical test theory.

During the 1950s, Thorndike’s son, Robert L. Thorndike, joined forces with two other TC faculty members, Elizabeth Hagen and Irving Lorge, to create the Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Tests, later called “Cognitive Ability Tests,” which were widely used to test scholastic ability. In 1971, Thorndike and Hagen also co-edited the second edition of
Educational Measurement, which has since become the best-known reference handbook in the field.

Still another faculty member, the late Richard Wolf, served as the United States General Assembly representative for the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, which launched large-scale international assessment programs such as TIMSS and PIRLS and in 2005 established the Richard M. Wolf Memorial Award.

In 2006, Madhabi Chatterji, Associate Professor of Measurement-Evaluation &  Education, established TC’s Assessment and Evaluation Research Initiative (AERI), which seeks to promote meaningful use of assessment and evaluation information in practice and policy contexts, internationally and across disciplines. From 2008—2011, AERI collaborated with The Global Educational Leadership Foundation (tGELF) on designing and assessing tGELF’s Life, Skills and Global Leadership Program, conducted in pilot schools in Delhi, India. Last year, with sponsorship from the Educational Testing Service, the National Science Foundation and TC’s Provost’s Investment Fund, AERI held a major conference on educational assessment, accountability and equity that drew 250 attendees from around the world. Chatterji is in the process of publishing an edited volume, Validity and Test Use, based on presentations from the conference.


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