Instructional Sensitivity Conference: Information and Registration

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI), the Center for Educational Testing & Evaluation (CETE), EdCount, and Renaissance Learning announce the Instructional Sensitivity Conference. The conference will be held November 13-15 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. It opens with a banquet on the evening of Wednesday, November 13.


Instructional Sensitivity Conference

November 13–15, 2013

GCSAA - 1421 Research Park Drive, Lawrence, Kansas

Hosted by The Achievement & Assessment Institute

The University of Kansas


When tests are instructionally sensitive, higher scores can be interpreted as indicators of greater learning due to better teaching. Conversely, lower scores represent less learning due to poorer teaching. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that large-scale assessments lack the levels of instructional sensitivity needed for valid and trustworthy accountability decisions at the classroom, school, district, state, and national levels. If so, this would pose serious problems for a variety of initiatives, including state waivers, common-core assessments, and teacher evaluation systems.

The ultimate goal of the First International Conference on Instructional Sensitivity is to create a critical mass of interest and concern. As Jim Popham has observed, “When the measurement community became convinced that assessment bias in our high-stakes tests was threatening validity, we set out to (1) detect assessment bias and (2) reduce it. We were successful. We can be equally successful in coping with instructional insensitivity.”

The conference will feature noted experts, authorities, and personalities addressing research related to instructional sensitivity and issues from multiple perspectives. The presentations, discussions, and debates will interest not only researchers but also publishers, practitioners, and policymakers.

We invite proposals for paper presentations at the conference on any topic related to instructional sensitivity: from methods to detect and appraise instructional sensitivity, through arguments involving the impact of instructional sensitivity on accountability and teacher evaluation, to suggestions for designing and implementing assessments that truly are sensitive to instruction. Most of all, we encourage proposals to present findings from recent instructional sensitivity appraisals.

For further information, please email Stephen Court. Stephen is serving as co-chair of the conference’s planning committee, along with Neal Kingston and Jim Popham.



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