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Release: Oct. 18, 2002

Coffman lecturer to speak on 'No Child Left Behind Act' Oct. 24

Edward H. Haertel, a Stanford University professor and expert on educational testing and reform, will explore whether President Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act" is scientifically based when he presents the eighth William E. Coffman Lecture at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 in the Jones Commons (Room N300) of the Lindquist Center, which houses the University of Iowa College of Education.

The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture.

The federal "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001" calls for annual testing of all children in grades three through eight, as well as one grade level during high school, in reading and mathematics. Science testing at selected grade levels will be added soon. Schools that fall short of "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP) are to be identified for "improvement" under the act, with AYP defined so as to reach 100 percent proficiency by the 2013-14 school year.

Haertel, whose current research focuses on methods of standard-setting for educational tests and on the validation of standards-based score reports and decision rules, will discuss in his lecture whether it is useful to ask if the act's expectations for AYP are realistic, and what is likely to happen as the law is implemented.

Haertel completed his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago in 1980. After teaching for one year at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, he joined Stanford's School of Education. He has served as president of the National Council on Measurement in Education, is currently a member of the National Assessment Governing Board and co-chairs advisory committees concerned with California's test-based school accountability system. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a member of the National Academy of Education.

The Coffman Lecture Series is sponsored by the Iowa Testing Programs and the Iowa Measurement Research Foundation.

William E. Coffman served on the faculty of the UI College of Education's department of psychological and quantitative foundations of education from 1969 to 1981. During that time, he was director of the Iowa Testing Programs as well as the first E.F. Lindquist Professor of Educational Measurement. While at the UI, Coffman was recognized for his writings on the reliability and validity of essay examinations as measurements of educational achievement. Coffman died Jan. 12, 1998.