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University of Iowa News Release

March 2, 2005

Dunbar Named To National Academy Of Sciences' Board On Testing, Assessment

Stephen B. Dunbar, a professor in the University of Iowa's Iowa Testing Programs, has been named to the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Testing and Assessment (BOTA).

BOTA, organized in 1993 and part of the National Research Council, addresses a range of issues concerning the science and policy of testing and assessment in education, employment and the military. Building on a strong foundation of research in the behavioral and social sciences, the board tracks developments and innovations and keeps policy makers, educators and employers apprised of evolving technological and policy issues.

Among the issues analyzed by BOTA are the link between academic and school-based learning and workplace competencies; the role of assessment in standards-based reform of education; the effects of high-stakes testing on the validity of test-based inferences and on the behavior of individuals or organizations; development of professional testing standards and policies to ensure appropriate test use; and the uses of traditional and new forms of assessment as tools of program evaluation and accountability.

The board holds three regular meetings a year during which members, sponsoring agency staff and guests discuss current issues in testing and assessment, and hear presentations by invited researchers and policy makers. In addition, the board offers workshops and conferences, sessions at professional meetings, research and policy papers and other services.

Dunbar, who teaches educational measurement and statistics in the UI College of Education, has previously served as a consultant to some of BOTA's work committees, and he was a member of a committee that evaluated the National Assessment of Education Progress.

He holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin (B.A. English) and the University of Illinois (A.M., Ph.D. educational psychology). Dunbar has published numerous articles and book chapters on large-scale assessment and is a principal author of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills.

More information on BOTA is available at

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,