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EEPA Speaker Series

The Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA) Speaker Series seeks to foster an interest in education policy research by inviting some of the nation’s leading scholars to present critically important and high-impact research and to engage in discussions with attendees. 

EEPA Speaker Series Highlights Data-driven Decision-making and Equity Principles for Changing Times

Two doctoral students, Christy Batts and Julie Whetzel, write about lessons learned during the 2022 EEPA Speaker Series.

EEPA Speaker Cynthia Coburn
Andrew Ho presentation

Watch the Spring 2022 EEPA Speaker Series

Andrew Ho: “Five principles for reporting test score trends through a crisis”

Andrew Ho
Andrew Ho

Amid COVID, U.S. state test score collection was cancelled in spring 2020. As states return to census testing, Andrew Ho of Harvard University offers “three metrics” solution for transparent accounting of changes in test populations over time; describes approaches for distinguishing between changes in student knowledge and skills and changes in test engagement and motivation; argues for transparent documentation; explains the the necessity of improving “test equating’ documentation to ensure that measured constructs remain stable; and discusses the importance of contextualized reporting of test scores alongside other trends that remind users that declines are not solely the responsibility of schools and students to address.

Recommended reading:

Cynthia Coburn: “Constraints,Values, and Information: The dynamics of school district decision making”

Cynthia Coburn
Cynthia Coburn

In her talk, Dr. Coburn spoke on a paper she co-authored in the American Educational Research Journal. Here’s the paper’s abstract: “Using over 350 hours of observational data from district-level meetings, we investigate how leaders support their interpretations of problems and proposed solutions during closed-door negotiations around three policy decisions, and how they invoke race, class, and language in the process. District leaders primarily cite constraints from stakeholders, practical realities, and policies during deliberations. They also draw on beliefs, values, and—to a lesser extent—information like research and data. Race, class, and language discourses were layered with values-based reasons, and most often addressed structural challenges to equity. The balance of attention to these factors depended on the configuration of participants and the nature of the policy decision itself, particularly decision makers’ perception that it would be controversial among certain groups.”

Recommended reading:

“The [EEPA Speaker Series] was such a wonderful experience, and I got a lot of helpful information. Being able to speak with scholars from around the country and hear about their work is such an invaluable experience.”

– EEPA Speaker Series Participant

Former Graduate Student

*Co-sponsored by the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis program and the Educational Leadership program

About the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA) Program

We undertake research that addresses complex questions, reflects bold thought and results in educational policies that support effective schooling for all students.

ELPHD student Iwinosa Idahor