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CETE hosts first test fraud conference

Monday, June 18, 2012

In light of recent media reports of test fraud by teachers in the Atlanta public school system, and as test administration evolves and new ways of committing test fraud develop, the Center for Education Testing and Evaluation (CETE) at the University of Kansas held the first scholarly conference focused on statistical approaches in identifying test fraud.

“Far too little research has been published on the detection of potential test fraud,” said Neal Kingston, director of CETE. “This is problematic because test fraud strikes at the heart of testing and measurement and destroys the validity of inferences drawn from test scores. CETE wanted to provide a forum for scholars and professionals working in the testing field to examine those statistical methods that testing organizations have developed and used over the years to look for test fraud.”

More than 130 people from 29 states and Canada attended the “Conference on Statistical Detection of Potential Test Fraud” on May 23-24, including professionals from state departments of education, federal agencies, private testing companies, public school districts, and universities.

“This conference was much needed and really is the first of its kind,” said Michael Chajewski, conference presenter and psychometrician with College Board. “Fraud detection has been important for several decades but I think the concentration by state agents and testing agents and testing companies—the vendors that manage all of our testing products—have really moved to a more systematized investigation and screening of test fraud on behalf of all of their constituents. I think this conference is bringing together the intellectual property, the intellectual wealth of information that governs these [testing] processes and it will be very good to see the conference happen again.”

Kingston said that given the conference’s inaugural success, another one will be planned for 2013.

The conference was sponsored by ACT, Inc., Caveon Test Security, College Board, Data Recognition Corporation, Educational Testing Service, Graduate Management Admission Council, Law School Admission Council, Pearson, and the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment.

For more than 30 years, CETE has developed cutting-edge, large-scale testing programs and technology tools, including the Kansas Assessment Program, Dynamic Learning Maps, KWIET writing tool, and Adaptive Reading Motivation Measures. It has partnered with the Kansas State Department of Education to deliver a variety of assessment services under the Kansas Assessment Program, the comprehensive assessment system Kansas schools use to determine whether a student learns the intended curriculum. CETE also offers online training resources, practice tests, and tutorials to help prepare students and educators for the Kansas assessments.

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