Publications & Resources

Response to the review essay by Richard P. Phelps

Oct 2014

Li Cai and Eva Baker

We believe that educational assessment researchers and practitioners in every country are fundamentally in the same trench, sharing as their goal improvement in student learning. However, we could not help but notice that no matter the topic, Phelps seems to work his view of CRESST into it. In the USA at the very least, we could only dream that a single group could be as powerful as portrayed, thanks to the founding principles on strong local governance, or as well funded when current federal funding lines are often in the single digits. We are also particularly puzzled about the general claim made in the article regarding our version to psychometrics. We found this odd and potentially misleading when some of the most prominent psychometricians such as Darrell Bock, Bob Mislevy, and Bob Linn have been and are very active in the CRESST research portfolio, in addition to much research on cognition, learning, and technology by CRESST and its partners. Li Cai, CRESST’s co-director, is a “card-carrying” psychometrician who developed models and wrote software recently for analyzing and improving large-scale educational assessment data. The tradition of using data to make evidence-based decisions regarding assessment design, validation, and improvement is very much alive and well at CRESST and at many other assessment research centres in the USA and elsewhere. To quote an ancient Chinese proverb, this mis-characterization of CRESST and assessment research can only be described as “peeping through a tube at a leopard.”

Cai, L., & Baker, E. (2014). Response to the review essay by Richard P. Phelps. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 21(4), 494. doi:10.1080/0969594X.2014.9529 08