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Release: Oct. 25, 1999

Expert on testing validation to present annual Coffman Lecture Nov. 4

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A nationally known expert on educational testing will present the talk "Validating Score Interpretations: From Performance Assessment to Model-Based Constructs" at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4 at the University of Iowa College of Education.

Michael T. Kane, a professor in the University of Wisconsin’s department of kinesiology, will present the fifth annual William E. Coffman Lecture in Jones Commons (N300) of the Lindquist Center. Lectures in the series, sponsored by the Iowa Testing Programs and the Iowa Measurement Research Foundation of the UI College of Education, are free and open to the public.

Kane received a Ph.D. in education at Stanford University in 1972 and also has degrees in statistics and physics. His principal research interests are validating the interpretations of test scores, the interpretation and use of performance assessments and generalizability theory. He is also actively involved in research dealing with licensure and certification testing, standard setting, criterion-referenced testing and the methodology of job analysis and role delineation.

He has held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was director of test development at the National League for Nursing and was vice president for research and development at ACT.

Among his recent publications are "Validating measures of performance," which he co-authored in Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, "Model-based practice analysis and test specifications" in Applied Measurement in Education in 1997, "The precision of measurements" in the same journal a year earlier and "The precision of practice analysis results in the professions," which he co-authored in 1995 for Evaluation & the Health Professions.

"Michael Kane is one of the two or three most prominent experts in the country in validity as it applies to educational testing," said Robert Brennan, director of the UI’s Iowa Testing Programs and the E.F. Lindquist Professor of Educational Measurement. "His theoretical grasp of this topic, coupled with wide-ranging practical experiences, gives his writings a uniquely refreshing perspective."

As guest speaker, Kane also will participate in several discussion sessions with graduate students, the staff of the Iowa Testing Programs and the faculty of the UI College of Education.

William E. Coffman served on the faculty of the Division of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations of Education from 1969 to 1981. During that time, he was director of the Iowa Testing Programs as well as the first E.F. Lindquist Professor of Educational Measurement.

While at the UI, Coffman was recognized for his writings on the reliability and validity of essay examinations as measurements of educational achievement. Coffman died Jan. 12, 1998.

The Coffman Lecture Series is administered by the Iowa Testing Programs and the Division of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations of Education.