In districts where teachers and schools are being evaluated based on the test score gains of their students, everything is riding on making those test scores as high as possible. For educators under that kind of pressure, “teaching to the test” may seem like the only option. They hand out practice books and drill their students for days or weeks before each standardized test to ensure success.
In 2013, Professors Jamal Abedi and Christian Faltis were selected to edit two volumes of Review of Research in Education, one of the most influential education research journals in the world. With Volume 39, Teacher Assessment and the Assessment of Students with Diverse Learning Needs, they complete their run as editors of the prestigious publication.
Nearing the end of a five-year study funded by the National Science Foundation, Professors Jamal Abedi and Paul Heckman have learned much about the status of formative assessment in mathematics and are looking forward to the launch of a website with tools for teachers and administrators early next year.
The work is important because assessing student knowledge during instruction—the heart of formative assessment—empowers teachers to address possible deficiencies in student understanding and increase student learning.
On October 28, 2104, Peggy G. Carr, Acting Commissioner of the National Center for Educational Statistics for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences, and U.S. Department of Education, was the featured speaker in the Distinguished Educational Thinkers Speaker Series at UC Davis. The series is presented by the UC Davis School of Education, the Graduate Group in Education, and the School of Education Alumni Annual Fund.
Having teachers read aloud a reading-comprehension test to students with disabilities and English-language learners offers a boost in scores without altering what the test is trying to measure, according to a study of about 2,000 California 4th and 8th graders who were given the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, in 2013. Professor Jamal Abedi is the lead author of the research report.
Abedi, who also serves as an advisor on English-learners to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of the two groups, said the findings suggest that read-aloud accommodations on reading-comprehension tests could be useful for students with disabilities and for English-language learners, and feasible to implement. Read the full article here.
November 2013 – Jamal Abedi, professor of education, received a four-year $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop a computer assessment and accommodation system aligned with a new generation of assessments based on the Common Core State Standards. This project will focus on the needs of English learners (EL) and will advance our knowledge and capability to appropriately assess EL students in important content areas such as mathematics.
Deemed a “heavy-hitter” in the field of assessment for student with disabilities and English learners, Professor Jamal Abedi will serve on a panel of experts charged with advising on the validity and fairness of new assessments tied to Common Core Standards. Read the story here. You can read more about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium here.
EdSource features a look at a recent study that Professors Paul Heckman and Jamal Abedi and Jian-Hua Liang (EdD ‘09) at the California Department of Education released on the connection between success on California’s Standards Test and subsequent success in Algebra in ninth grade.
Specializing in educational and psychological assessments, Jamal Abedi’s research focuses on testing for English language learners and issues concerning the technical characteristics and interpretations of these assessments. Abedi is the author of many publications in the assessment of and accommodations for English-language learners. He is on the advisory committees for several major assessment organizations and advises a number of states on testing for English learners and children with disabilities.
Megan Welsh joined the School in July 2014 as an assistant professor in educational assessment and measurement. Since 2008, she was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut. Her primary areas of research include test validity analysis, the use of assessment as an educational reform lever, grading, and evaluation of educational programs.