Entries by Nathan Thompson, PhD

Top 3 K-12 Assessment Trends

Technavio recently released a market analysis on K-12 Assessment Trends.  They concluded that there are three big trends currently impacting the testing world: Emphasis on cognitive testing and assessment Increase in number of standardized test-optional institutions Rising penetration of cloud computing The second of the 3 K-12 Assessment Trends is not on assessment itself (or psychometrics, the […]

ASC Presents at 2016 Conference on Test Security

ASC attended the 2016 Conference on Test Security (COTS), held October 18-20 in Cedar Rapids IA, graciously hosted by Pearson.  The conference brings together thought leaders on all aspects of test security, including statistical detection of test fraud, management of test centers, candidate agreements, investigations, and legal implications.  ASC was lucky enough to win three […]

So, where does the “Opt Out” movement come from? You’d be surprised.

The “opt out” movement is a supposedly-grass-roots movement against K-12 standardized testing, primarily focusing action on encouraging parents to refuse to allow their kids to take tests.  The absolutely bizarre part of this is that large scale test scores are rarely used for individual impact on the student, and that tests take up only a […]

Assessment Systems Speaks at ATP, the Top Conference of the Testing Industry

Every Spring, the Association of Test Publishers (ATP) hosts its annual conference, Innovations in Testing.  This is the leading conference in the testing industry, with nearly 1000 people from major testing vendors and a wide range of test sponsors, from school districts to certification boards to employment testing companies.  While the technical depth is much lower […]

What is a psychometrician? Are they created equal?

A psychometrician is someone who practices psychometrics – the Science of Assessment.  That is, they are familiar with the scientific literature devoted to the development of fair, high-quality assessments, and they use this knowledge to improve assessments.  Psychometricians learn about many different topics, and can take a number of slants, such as applied vs. academic, […]

What do “dichotomous” and “polytomous” mean in IRT?

Item response theory (IRT) is the dominant psychometric paradigm for constructing, scoring, and analyzing assessments.  Virtually all large-scale assessments utilize IRT because of its well-documented advantages.  In many cases, however, it is referred to as a single way of analyzing data.  However, IRT is actually a family of models, and a growing family at that. […]

US Dept of Defense Requires that Military Certifications be Accredited

The United States Congress recently passed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.  This provides policies and authorizations for 2016 but no budgetary appropriations, which is done with subsequent legislation.  While these Acts and related ones happen all the time, they rarely have direct impact on the field of testing and assessment. This one is different. There […]