Robert L. Linn, PhD
My research interests are in the theory
and practice of educational measurement. In recent years I have focused
on performance-based measurement and policy issues in the use and interpretation
of educational tests. My current research, supported by the Office of
Educational Research and Improvement through the Center for Research on
Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, is closely aligned with those
Design of Educational Accountability Systems
My current research, funded by the U.S Department of Education, Office
of Educational Research and Improvement, through the National Center for
Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST), is focused
on comparative analyses of alternative educational accountability systems.
The particular focus is on alternative models for using student assessment
data in longitudinal, quasi-longitudinal, or successive cohort designs.
Alternative summarizations of student test scores, e.g., the percent of
students scoring above a designated cut score, index scores based on weighted
summaries of the number of students scoring in various score regions,
and effect-size statistics based on scale scores are being investigated.
Impact of Educational Accountability Systems
My research on the impact of educational assessment and accountability systems is also supported through CRESST. In this research I am investigating the generalizability of gains in student performance reported by states. Assessment and accountability systems are increasingly focused on gains in performance. My research as well as that of other researchers has shown that gains can be seriously inflated under high-stakes conditions and underscores the need for careful validation of gains. The tools for evaluating gains, however, are weak. The current effort builds upon recent psychometric work that has extended traditional validation methods to address current issues raised by developments in assessment.