Who We Are

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Steve Rivkin
Steve Rivkin
University of Illinois Chicago

Steve Rivkin is currently Head of the Economics Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also Director of the John F. Kain Center for Education Research at the University of Texas at Dallas and a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and CES-IFO Research Institute in Germany. Steve Rivkin 's main areas of interest are the economics and sociology of education, where he has written on a wide range of issues including school leadership, teacher quality and labor markets, school desegregation, class size, special education, charter schools, student mobility, and school spending. He has served on a number of government advisory committees and task forces

Steve Rivkin will be discussing a comprehensive reform on evaluation and compensation for school leaders and teachers that has been implemented in Dallas, Texas and Washington, DC. He will provide some background on school accountability and pay for performance and then focus on the reforms in Washington and particularly in Dallas.

Jo-Anne Baird
Jo-Anne Baird
University of Oxford

Professor Jo-Anne Baird is Director of the Department of Education at Oxford University, having previously been the Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA). Her research interests include policy issues in examinations and the relationship between assessment and learning. Jo-Anne Baird was President of the Association for Educational Assessment Europe from 2013 to 2015. Currently she is the Executive Editor of the international research journal Assessment in Education: Principles, policy and practice.

This Keynote Address will explore the use of assessment as a lever for policy-makers and politicians.  Studies have shown the extent to which national educational policies have apparently been influenced by the international tests.  Thus, the social lever strings are being pulled from afar and the agendas of those pulling the strings need to be scrutinized.  Exam boards are often highly trusted actors in national policy networks.  They are lobbyists, policy-makers in their own right and practitioners.  The way sin which exam boards influence assessment design and procedures will be considered and the soft power that is wielded in the process will be discussed.

Hariharan Swaminathan
Hariharan Swaminathan
University of Connecticut

Hariharan Swaminathan is professor of Education in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, and serves as the chair of the Department of Educational Psychology. His contributions to the field of education are highly valued as is testified by the numerous awards he received. Swaminathan 's research interests are in the areas of Bayesian statistics, item response theory and multivariate analysis. He served on editorial boards of main scientific journals and has been a member of numerous national and international technical advisory panels and boards of governmental and non-governmental organizations. Recently, Professor Swaminathan has worked with the Ministry of Education in Georgia in developing the Georgian National Assessment System.

His talk will cover technical issues (test design. validity, reliability, fairness) as well as policy related issues in large scale assessments.

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