The Gordon Commission: Perspectives on the Future of Assessment

This session took place at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Time: Monday, April 29, 2013 from 2:45–4:15 p.m.

Location: Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Yosemite Room B, San Francisco, Calif.

Chair & Moderator: Randy Bennett, Educational Testing Service (ETS)

Opening Remarks: Edmund W. Gordon, Teachers College, Columbia University; Yale University

Eva Baker, University of California, Los Angeles
Jim Pellegrino, University of Illinois at Chicago
Louis Gomez, University of California, Los Angeles
Lauren Resnick, University of Pittsburgh
Andrew Ho, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Kent McGuire, Southern Education Foundation
Lorraine McDonnell, University of California, Santa Barbara

No topic in educational reform has consistently captured the attention of the public and policymakers more than that concerned with evidence that students are learning. Much of the discussion, however, focuses on present options, such as what inferences might be made from test results, short-term changes, and implications for instructional improvement or decisions concerning students.

In thinking about changes associated with the 21st century, it has become desirable to step back and take a deeper look at the testing and assessment enterprise and where it will need to be in the middle of this new century. To that end, the Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education was formed, and has released its reports after two years of deliberation. Led by Edmund W. Gordon, and supported by Educational Testing Service, the Commission included leading scholars and practitioners in the fields of assessment design and use, psychometrics, learning, instruction, policy, technology, philosophy and history.

In addition, several scholarly papers were produced by Commissioners and other experts outside the Commission. The Commission's reports are independent statements designed to capture the sense of the Commission's work. At the Presidential Session, Edmund W. Gordon provided an introduction to the reports, which included both a technical and a policy-oriented document. Commission members made brief statements offering their perspectives, and independent commentators made remarks. A brief summation of the findings and major recommendations from the Commission was distributed at the session.

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