RF@SUNY 2000 Albany, NY

SUNY Conversations in the Disciplines Conference

Standardized Testing in K-12 Schooling:  Tool of Reform or Tool of Tyranny?


June 3, 2000

Alumni House

University at Albany

Albany, NY 12222

Sponsored by: The Rouge Forum and SUNY Conversations in the Disciplines


Standardized testing is a growing phenomenon in schools. In part, standardized tests are presumed to be an effective and appropriate means to increase standards for schooling, holding students, teachers, and administrators more accountable for learning.  There is, however, much debate regarding the appropriateness of assessment driving curriculum versus curriculum driving the assessment and this conference will contribute to that discussion.  Parents, students, educators and researchers across the country are weighing in on these matters and the main goal of this interactive conference is to bring what is otherwise a cacophony of voices together. And in hearing these voices, to develop programs of action that are grounded in the complex, politicized world of schooling.  

Conference Agenda

Saturday June 3, 2000

8:30-9:00 a.m. Registration and Coffee

9:00-9:15 a.m. Opening Remarks

E. Wayne Ross, SUNY Binghamton

Sandra Mathison, University at Albany  

 9:15-10:00 a.m. Keynote Addresses I

Monty Neill, Executive Director, FairTest

S. G. Grant, University at Buffalo, SUNY

10:00-10:15 a.m. Break

10:15-11:00 a.m. Panel Responses/Questions to Keynote I

11:00-11:45 a.m. Whole group discussion of issues

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Lunch  

 12:45-1:45 p.m. Keynote Addresses II

Susan Ohanian, author

Sandra Mathison, University at Albany

1:45-2:30 p.m. Panel Responses/Questions to Keynote II

2:30-3:15 p.m. Whole group discussion of issues

3:15-3:30 p.m. Break  

 3:30-4:30 p.m. Small Working Groups

4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Group reports & Discussion  

Invited Speakers:

Dr. Monty Neill is Executive Director of The National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest) and author of numerous studies and reports on the use of standardized testing. FairTest is an advocacy organization working ensure that evaluation of students is and workers is fair, open, and educationally sound.

 Susan Ohanian is a longtime teacher and free-lance writer whose articles have appeared in periodicals ranging from the Atlantic and Washington Monthly toPhi Delta Kappan and Education Week. Ohanian is the author of more than a dozen books including One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards andWhoÕs In Charge? A Teacher Speaks Her Mind.

Sandra Mathison is Associate Dean of the School of Education at SUNY Albany. Her research focuses on philosophical issues in educational evaluation, including the logic of evaluative thinking, validity, and justice. Mathison has written about these topics in many journals including Educational Researcher,Journal of Curriculum and SupervisionEvaluation and Program Planning, Curriculum and Teaching, and the International Journal for Social Education, and numerous book chapters as well.

S. G. Grant is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at SUNY Buffalo. He is the author of Reforming Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, which reports a study of how teachers manage a range of reforms, such as new tests, textbooks, and curriculum frameworks.

Other participants include:

James Collins, SUNY Albany

Linda Irwin, SUNY Binghamton

Kristi Fragnoli, SUNY Cortland

Peter Johnston, SUNY Albany

Nancy Schniederwind, SUNY New Paltz

Stephen C. Fleury, Le Moyne College

Rich Gibson, Wayne State University

David W. Hursh, University of Rochester

Kevin D. Vinson, Loyola College (MD).

Registration Fee: $15.00 (includes lunch)

Please register by May 26, 2000:

Standardized Testing Conference

Dean’s Office, School of Education

University at Albany, SUNY

1400 Washington Ave.

Albany, NY 12222

Space is Limited