Fall 2019 Issue, Volume 23, No. 2  Have trouble viewing this message?

October 11-12, 2019
High Point University
Registration Closes: October 6

A Message from the CREATE President
By Dr. Susan Colby, CREATE President
Appalachian State University

Dear CREATE Colleagues,

Dr. Susan Colby

As I started to formulate ideas for this column, I read newsletters and blogs from our past CREATE presidents and reviewed the list of Millman Scholars and thought about their contributions to our field. Impressive indeed. It is clear to me that CREATE has long honored the giants in our field and has been a steady voice championing sound assessment for decades. Not only have CREATE leaders and scholars sought to push back on policy and practice that departs from our highest hopes for what assessment can be, but have also used their voices to influence the direction towards more meaningful and relevant practice on behalf of all students.

Our many wise and accomplished CREATE leaders and scholars have recognized the dangers of accountability systems comparing school quality based on standardized testing results (Linn, 2006), advocated for standards in program and personnel evaluation (Patton, 2017; Stufflebeam & Coryn, 2014), prodded us to rethink standard classroom assessment practice based on limited research (Guskey, 2018; Guskey, 2015), shed light on teacher effectiveness and teacher evaluation (Stronge, 2013; Stronge, Grant, & Xu, 2013), and cautioned us against continually looking for a “magic bullet” that will improve school effectiveness (Klinger, 2017).

CREATE scholars and leaders have also been instrumental in guiding our profession by setting forth standards for quality assessment and evaluation with far reaching effects (Gullickson & Howard, 2009; Klinger, McDivitt, Howard, Munoz, Rogers, & Wylie, 2015; Stufflebeam, 2004; Yarbrough, 2017; Yarbrough, Shula, Hopson, & Caruthers, 2010). Further, our CREATE leaders and scholars have called for us to move off of the “circular track” (Wren, 2018) and position ourselves as leaders, advocates, and provocateurs that “spend time advocating for reinventing the systems” (Fischetti, 2018).

To be certain, there are challenges ahead. Educators are faced with the reality of ever increasing disparity gaps and inequities in access, opportunity, and outcomes for underrepresented and historically marginalized populations. If educational excellence can only be achieved through the pursuit of equity (Blankstein, Noguera, & Kelly, 2016; Darling-Hammond, 2007; Ladson-Billings, 2006), the educational assessment and measurement field must lead by continuing to examine if and how educational assessment policies, practices, and instruments inadvertently disadvantage students of color, marginalized populations, and low-income schools and districts (Horne, 2004; Klien, 2018) and how bias has the potential to influence assessment results (Close & Amrein-Beardsley, 2018). In addition, we need to continue to “develop methods and tools that meet multiple purposes and shed light on outcomes related to inclusion and equity” (Colby & Lambert, 2019).

I am honored to serve as CREATE President as we focus on “Keeping it Real: Making our Work Matter.” It has crossed my mind that this year’s theme embodies our CREATE legacy. At our 2019 CREATE Conference at High Point University we will, once again, hold space for critical discussion that examines the current landscape of educational assessment and evaluation and considers new and innovative methods to move our field forward. Let us convene in High Point to broaden our perspective and renew our sense of commitment to lead at this very important time in our field.

See you at the 2019 CREATE Conference!

Susan Colby
President, Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness


A Preview of the 28th Annual CREATE Conference at High Point University

By Dr. Steven Bingham, CREATE President-Elect
Stout School of Education, High Point University

Greetings, public and higher education and educational-organization scholars and leaders! On the heels of months of planning by the CREATE Board of Directors and the submitting of proposals by scores of colleagues to present, the 2019 CREATE Conference is at last upon us. And I am delighted to say that High Point University, my new home away from home, is hosting the event, Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12. If you have yet to register for the conference, no worries! There is still a room for you at Courtyard Marriott in High Point.

The theme for our 28th annual conference is Keeping it Real: Making Our Work Matter. Whatever in education you do and wherever you do it, chances are you got into our shared profession wanting to make a difference. For most of us, assessing learning and educational outcomes and teaching for lasting impact on students is more than a job—it’s a passion. How we communicate our work within our community and beyond, especially to public policymakers, is rife with opportunity for improvement. Our conference promises to be a catalyst for making our work matter, including as it does scholars and practitioners from around the world, each of whom is keeping it real by subjecting his or her research or best practice to your scrutiny. We thank our presenters and their critical friends in advance!  

The prestigious Millman Award will be presented this year to Dr. Donald B. Yarbrough, Professor of Educational Measurement and Statistics with a secondary appointment in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies at the University of Iowa. Don has published in a wide variety of scholarly journals and has authored and co-authored more than 200 funded evaluation reports, journal articles, and book chapters. His current work focuses on the scholarly and scientific foundations for evaluation standards and their use in educational improvement and on investigating the applicability of the Program Evaluation Standards to testing programs and educational programs in different cultures and languages. 

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Steve Tozer, was founding Coordinator of the University of Illinois Chicago Urban Education Leadership doctoral program. Partnering with Chicago Public Schools, Steve received awards for exemplary practice from leading academic and policy organizations, including the University Council of Education Administration and the Council of the Great City Schools. Steve served as head of various academic departments and as President of both the American Educational Studies Association and Council for Social Foundations of Education. He has authored or co-authored over 50 journal articles and book chapters. Steve is currently engaged in research and practice in improving school leadership policy at the district, state, and higher education policy levels.

Whatever in education you do and wherever you do it, you will leave the 2019 CREATE Conference enthused and energized, ready to accomplish great things at home. We wager one of the 66 research or best practice sessions, half-dozen doctoral student poster presentations, roundtable discussions, Q&A panel for graduate students, and presentations by nationally-acclaimed educators will remind you of why now more than ever, you matter. We look forward to welcoming you to CREATE Conference at High Point University. Consider bringing your family to enjoy the rest of the weekend visiting area historical, cultural, and commercial sites, including Old Salem, NC Zoological Park, and of course, world-famous Furniture Land South!     

Steven Bingham
Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness

CREATE Conference 2019: A Magical Place
By Tara A. Wilson, Graduate Student Representative
Doctoral Candidate, George Washington University

Tara Wilson

The CREATE Conference is the Disney World of Education conferences. As the CREATE Graduate Student Representative and a Disney Annual Passholder, I feel highly qualified to make this analogy.

I live in Orlando and like many Central Floridians, attend Disney at least three times a month. We go to relax and escape reality for a little bit. After a trip to Disney, I wonder why everyone isn’t always so happy, friendly, and detail-oriented. A few hours at the park reignites my creative juices and reminds me that anything is possible. A weekend at the CREATE Conference has a similar effect on me. I feel a warm welcome every year when I return to CREATE, as though I am visiting my extended family. Everyone makes me feel delighted to be back. It’s as though a year hadn’t gone by and we are right back to engaging in invigorating conversations about teaching methods, assessment, and what’s new in education.

The CREATE Conference program offers each participant a customizable experience. Just as I feel when grabbing a Disney Map and exploring the possibilities for my adventure, I love pouring through my CREATE Conference agenda to decide how I will spend each day.  The CREATE Conference program offers each attendee a unique agenda, just like my MagicBand allows me to enter the park with ease and have all of my FastPasses stored for quick access onto my pre-selected rides. When I am at a CREATE conference, there are multiple opportunities to choose from, whether it be a doctoral poster session, panel presentation, round table talk, or discussion on a dissertation or recently published study.  No matter what I choose, I always leave CREATE feeling inspired.

When you visit Disney, the intentionality behind every aspect of the park offers an immersive experience. Their attention to theme and innovative ideas allow park goers to feel as though they’ve entered another world. When I am at a CREATE Conference, I am surrounded by scholars and practitioners who share my deep passion for education. The conference program is carefully crafted to align with this year’s theme, Keeping it Real: Making Our Work Matter. I love the energy I feel when I am surrounded by CREATE members; the air is filled with a spirit for improving teaching and enhancing assessment measures. CREATE, like Disney, is ahead of their time while embracing the legacy left behind by innovators from our past.

CREATE, like Disney, is a magical place. In a few short weeks, CREATE members will be traveling to High Point University to reconnect with colleagues that feel like family. At the conference, they will embark on an inspiring adventure. Just like a Disney ticket, the CREATE Conference is worth every penny. I always feel sad when my time at CREATE has ended but look forward to the next time I’ll see everyone once again.

Tara A. Wilson
Doctoral Candidate, Educational Administration and Policy Studies
The George Washington University

Conference Hotel
Marriott High Point
Address: 1000 Mail Loop Rd, High Point | NC 27262