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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 24, 2003

UI, ACT To Cosponsor Conference On Educational Testing Challenges

To understand how radically the testing landscape has changed over the past 50 years, ACT and the Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment (CASMA) in the University of Iowa College of Education are sponsoring a daylong conference Saturday, Nov. 8, titled the "Current Challenges in Educational Testing."

The invitational conference will be held in ACT's new conference center in Iowa City and feature a range of national experts speaking on K-12 testing and the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), upcoming changes in college admissions testing, teacher licensure and certification, technology in testing and classroom assessment in school reform. The conference also will feature a panel discussion on NCLB.

The keynote speaker will be Mark D. Musick, president of the Southern Regional Education Board.

Addressing his remarks to educators and policymakers, Musick will ask, "Can research help us set educational standards high enough? Or if you set standards, what research could we use to set them high enough? Can some of us, or all of us, help make sense out of the current mishmash of educational 'standards' in America?

"I hope the answer is 'all of the above' when we convene this meeting, or by the time we adjourn," he said. "Many of America's leading experts in assessment will be gathered under one roof. The presentations and the informal discussions are designed to get the 'test' questions answered in 2003 that we are likely to be asked in 2004."

Speakers and topics currently scheduled for the conference are:
* K-12 Testing and NCLB (Robert Linn, University of Colorado and CRESST)
* Upcoming Changes in College Admissions Testing (Wayne Camara, College Board; Cynthia Schmeiser, ACT)
* Teacher Licensure and Certification (Ronald Berk, Johns Hopkins University)
* Technology in Testing (Randy Bennett, Educational Testing Service)
* Classroom Assessment in School Reform (Richard Stiggins, Assessment Training Institute)
* Panel Discussion on NCLB (Robert Linn, University of Colorado and
CRESST; Steve Kromer, Pearson Educational Measurement; John Laramy, Riverside Publishing; John Oswald, ETS)

The conference is intended for measurement specialists as well as practitioners and other professionals in policy-making positions. For registration information, visit, call 319-335-5439 or send an email to

CASMA's primary mission is to pursue research-based initiatives that lead to advancements in the methodology and practice of educational measurement and assessment. The long-term vision for CASMA is that it be one of the premier interdisciplinary centers that performs, promotes, fosters and disseminates high quality research in measurement and assessment.

ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides more than 100 assessment, research, information and program management services in the broad areas of education planning, career planning and workforce development. Each year, ACT serves millions of people in high schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses, and government agencies -- nationally and internationally. Though designed to meet a wide array of needs, all ACT programs and services have one guiding purpose: to help people achieve education and career
goals by providing information for life's transitions.

Contributing sponsors of the conference are The College Board, Educational Testing Service, National Evaluation Systems, Pearson Educational Measurement and Riverside Publishing Company.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: University of Iowa: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, Kristin Crouse, 319-337-1028,