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Richard P Phelps

Richard P Phelps
Nonpartisan Education Review

PhD

About

162
Publications
29,687
Reads
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787
Citations
Introduction
Richard P Phelps currently works with Nonpartisan Education Group and the Institute for Objective Policy Assessment. Richard does research in Comparative Education, Educational Assessment and Educational Policy.
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - present
Nonpartisan Education Review
Position
  • Editor
Description
  • founder & editor
August 2011 - June 2017
The Association of Boarding Schools
Position
  • Managing Director
February 2010 - November 2010
District of Columbia Public Schools
Position
  • Managing Director
Education
September 1989 - May 1991
Wharton School of Commerce & Finance, University of Pennsylvania
Field of study
  • Public Policy Analysis & Management

Publications

Publications (162)
Article
This article summarizes research on the effect of testing on student achievement as found in English-language sources, comprising several hundred studies conducted between 1910 and 2010. Among quantitative studies, mean effect sizes range from a moderate d ≈ 0.55 to a fairly large d ≈ 0.88, depending on the way effects are aggregated or effect size...
Article
Full-text available
Synergies itself, the “final synthesis” of the REAFISO project, runs 670 pages. The country reports accumulate another 1,500 pages or so. The ten background papers average about 50 pages each. Press some more tree pulp to accommodate the requisite press releases, talking points, or the multitude of each country’s own background papers, and, all tol...
Technical Report
Full-text available
It is now clear that the original promise to anchor K-12 education to higher education and backmap the Common Core Mathematics Standards (CCMS) from the upper grades down to the primary grades was empty rhetoric. Higher education has scarcely been involved at all, with the exception of the institutions that agreed to place high school students who...
Article
Full-text available
Sincere scholars work to expand society’s knowledge and understanding. They cite all the relevant research, even that produced by those they disagree with or personally dislike. They encourage debate. For the sincere scholar, a citation is a responsibility, and proper and thorough citations demonstrate research quality. For the strategic scholar,...
Article
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Observers describe the quantity of research information now produced variously as "torrent," "overload," "proliferation," or the like. Technological advances in computing and telecommunication have helped us keep up, to an extent. But, I would argue, scholarly and journalistic ethics have not kept pace. As a case in point, consider the journal arti...
Article
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Article
Like many science-related professional associations founded on the principles of unbiased research, nonpartisanship, and best practices, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) has become thoroughly politicized.
Presentation
Full-text available
Abundant scientific, scholarly research on the uses and effects of educational testing dates to the 1890s; randomized experiments comprise much of the volume. Comprehensive reviews of the accumulating research literature date as far back as the 1930s. By the 1970s, however, the character of some of the more widely cited reviews had changed. This pr...
Article
Background Test frequency, stakes associated with educational tests, and feedback from test results have been identified in the research literature as relevant factors in student achievement. Objectives Summarize the separate and joint contribution to student achievement of these three treatments and their interactions via multivariable meta-analy...
Article
Full-text available
https://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Articles/v14n3.htm
Article
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https://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Articles/v14n4.htm
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https://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Articles/v14n5.htm
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https://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Articles/v14n7.htm
Article
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https://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Articles/v14n6.htm
Presentation
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Describes the results of the conversion of Chile's university admission test from an aptitude test to an achievement test. The new test is less predictive of college performance. Generally, it provides reasonable predictive power in career fields that are much like secondary school work, such as vocational work that requires a general secondary edu...
Article
Full-text available
If one chooses to assume that the tiny sample of the research literature on educational testing conducted by him and a small coterie of sympathetic colleagues represents the universe of the relevant research literature, his new book, The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better, makes some sense. Consider the entire breadth of the researc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The myth is popular among education insiders who oppose high-stakes or externally mandated tests, but based on just two studies conducted without controls and employing an obscure definition of “high stakes”. Both studies actually used low-stakes tests that were administered without security protocols. Meanwhile, many controlled studies of the hypo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The myth is popular among education insiders who oppose high-stakes or externally mandated tests, but is based on just two studies conducted without controls that employed an obscure definition of "high stakes". Both studies actually involved low-stakes tests administered without security protocols. Harms caused by belief in the myth include: dive...
Article
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This article explains the various meanings and ambiguities of the phrase “teaching to the test” (TttT), describes its history and use as a pejorative, and outlines the policy implications of the popular, but fallacious, belief that “high stakes” testing induces TttT which, in turn, produces “test score inflation” or artificial test score gains. The...
Article
This article explains the various meanings and ambiguities of the phrase “teaching to the test” (TttT), describes its history and use as a pejorative, and outlines the policy implications of the popular, but fallacious, belief that “high stakes” testing induces TttT which, in turn, produces “test score inflation” or artificial test score gains. The...
Conference Paper
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no abstract
Presentation
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Article
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Though Common Core consortia test sales pitches may be the most disingenuous, SAT and ACT spokespersons haven’t been completely forthright either. To those concerned about the inevitable degradation of predictive validity if their tests are truly aligned to the K-12 Common Core standards, public relations staffs assure us that predictive validity i...
Article
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Elevating teaching-to-the-test to dogma, from the beginning with the distortion of Dr. Cannell’s findings, has served to divert attention from scandals that should have threatened US educators’ almost complete control of their own evaluation.[10] Had the scandal Dr. Cannell uncovered been portrayed honestly to the public—educators cheat on tests ad...
Article
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Included in these web pages are the statements—the dismissive reviews—of some prominent education policy researchers. Most of their statements are inaccurate; it is possible that all of them are. Certainly, all of them are misleading. Each linked file includes the dismissive statements, the names of the lead authors (in bold when known) and co-auth...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Fordham Institute has long been at work on a study of the relative quality of tests produced by the two Common Core-aligned and federally funded consortia (PARCC and SBAC), ACT (Aspire), and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (MCAS). What Fordham has produced is only in the most superficial way an actual analysis – in fact, it reads more like pr...
Article
[no abstract] http://pioneerinstitute.org/blog/fordham-report-predictable-conflicted/
Technical Report
Full-text available
PARCC’s primary goal is a single set of performance standards across all states. Its marketers insist that the threshold for all participating states will be at least as high as that for the current highest standard states. But, abundant experience suggests a different outcome: the PARCC performance standards will end up somewhere below the current...
Article
Full-text available
http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/are-education-journalists-objective-or-players-in-the-game/
Technical Report
Full-text available
In July 2010, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted to adopt Common Core’s standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in place of the state’s own standards in these two subjects. The vote was based largely on recommendations by Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester and then Secretary of Educat...
Research
Full-text available
presentation before the Governor's Council on Common Core Review, State Capitol, Little Rock, May 2015
Article
We analyzed data from 65 schools that are U.S. members of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) to estimate how TABS member school graduates who enter college compare with college entrants from non-boarding schools on several long-term quality-of-life estimates. Although TABS students are more likely to graduate college than the population of...
Article
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Researchers who tell you “listen only to us and do not talk to anyone else” are typically ruthlessly ambitious, but they are not shy.
Article
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Perhaps it is because I avoid most tabloid journalism that I found journalist Anya Kamenetz's loose cannon Introduction to The Test: Why our schools are obsessed with standardized testing—but you don't have to be so jarring. In the space of seven pages, she employs the pejoratives "test obsession", "test score obsession", "testing obsession", "insi...
Article
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The tragic results illustrate how federal and foundation money can concentrate power to achieve exactly the opposite result from that intended. Once these small, cohesive groups captured the larger organizations, they focused their efforts on restricting entry into policy arenas to those their own circles. The careers of those inside these groups h...
Article
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It requires long seasoning in the bog for one to develop a taste for which education information is accurate, which is myth, and which is just plain dishonest.
Article
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The education establishment doesn't need to censor and suppress most research pertinent to education reform; the think tank elite does it for them.
Article
He declined to sign on to a cause or join a club unless he believed in the message or mission, an oddity in this age of "strategic partnerships" in which truth, accuracy, and conviction must be sublimated in the collective quest for power, influence, and celebrity.
Article
Ante las críticas que genera la Prueba de Selección Universitaria (PSU), el académico estadounidense Richard P. Phelps subraya los problemas del actual sistema, criticando el rol protagónico de los economistas en su génesis, por sobre los expertos en construcción de pruebas y medición. Son estos últimos los que deben reformular el examen, sostiene,...
Article
Full-text available
A “leading practice” in the terms of the CCSSO and ATP is not a “practice” at all; it is a plan for practice. That is, it is not about behavior or action, it is about a plan for behavior or action. And even the character of the plan is left to the discretion of the local school or district. Any local school or district with a test security plan in...
Article
Full-text available
We will not eliminate the influence of Campbell’s Law by eliminating external high-stakes standardized testing. Campbell’s Law will still apply in the un-monitored, un-measured classrooms that anti-testing critics idolize. But, its effects will be hidden. The primary result of an elimination of external testing: the public will no longer have acces...
Article
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REAFISO’s efforts should be judged unfavorably even by its own standards. In the Design and Implementation Plan for the Review (OECD, 2009), REAFISO promised to, among other goals: . . . extend and add value to the existing body of international work on evaluation and assessment policies. (p. 5) Synthesise research-based evidence on the impact...
Article
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Whereas, innovation is a holy commandment for the US education professoriate, critics charge that it leads to a continuous cycle of fad after fad after fad. After all, if innovation is always good, then any program that has been around for a while must be bad, no matter how successful it might be in improving student achievement. Moreover, if the p...
Article
Full-text available
Within several months, the most important document in US education testing—the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing—will incorporate the conclusions of biased, irreparably flawed research that favors education’s vested interests. School districts and taxpayers will be compelled to pay for the administration of more tests, perhaps twi...
Article
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Ironically, the same industry insider who warned me against revealing the contents of the revised Standards draft has himself publicly asserted its colossal social and legal impact on US society. Yet, he defends both the secrecy and insularity of the current drafting process. Power to draft the Standards as they see fit has been divvied up among th...
Article
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Education's vested interests captured the NRC's assessment research group a quarter-century ago; they have held on tight since.
Article
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Education's vested interests captured the NRC's assessment research group a quarter-century ago; they have held on tight since.
Article
Full-text available
In scholarly terms, a review of the literature or literature review is a summation of the previous research that has been done on a particular topic. With a dismissive literature review, a researcher assures the public that no one has yet studied a topic or that very little has been done on it. A firstness claim is a particular type of dismissive r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article summarizes research on the effect of testing on student achievement as found in English-language sources, comprising several hundred studies conducted between 1910 and 2010. Among quantitative studies, mean effect sizes range from a moderate d ≈ 0.55 to a fairly large d ≈ 0.88, depending on the way effects are aggregated or effect size...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Article summarizes research on the effect of testing on student achievement as found in English-language sources, comprising several hundred studies conducted between 1910 and 2010.
Article
Full-text available
The OECD’s Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes — REAFISO — relies on staff generalists and itinerant workers to compose its most essential reports. I suspect that the REAFISO writers started out unknowing, trusted the research work they found most easily, and followed in the direction those researchers point...
Article
The text of this study was published in the International Journal of Testing. The study summarizes the research literature on the effect of testing on student achievement, which comprises several hundred studies conducted from the early 20 century to the present day. Only quantitative studies are listed here (N studies = 177; N effects = 640). Mean...
Article
Most of the problems with testing have one surprising source: cheating by school administrators and teachers.
Article
The study summarizes the research literature on the effect of testing on student achievement, which comprises several hundred studies conducted from the early 20th century to the present day. Only qualitative studies, however, are included here (N = 244). Qualitative studies overwhelmingly find testing's effect on student achievement to be pos...
Article
The study summarizes the research literature on the effect of testing on student achievement, which comprises several hundred studies conducted from the early 20th century to the present day. Only survey studies, however, are included here (N studies = 247; N effects = 813; total respondent population . 700,000). Moreover, the surveys summarized he...
Article
John J. Cannell's late 1980's "Lake Wobegon" reports suggested widespread deliberate educator manipulation of norm-referenced standardized test (NRT) administrations and results, resulting in artificial test score gains. The Cannell studies have been referenced in education research since, but as evidence that high stakes (and not cheating or lax s...
Technical Report
Ofqual seeks to determine the prevalence and character of measurement uncertainty reporting for high-stakes tests in the United States. The research questions might be phrased as: Is the reporting of measurement error (i.e., score imprecision) common or typical, or is it uncommon or atypical? And, if it is common or typical, how is it commonly or t...
Article
Full-text available
www.napubco.com. Indexed in Current Index to Journals in Education (ERIC). Selected back issues available online at www.pilambda.org. Copyright 2010, all rights reserved, by Pi Lambda Theta. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Pi Lambda Theta. educational HORIZONS ® is a trademark...
Article
John J. Cannell's late 1980's “Lake Wobegon” reports suggested widespread deliberate educator manipulation of norm-referenced standardized test (NRT) administrations and results, resulting in artificial test score gains. The Cannell studies have been referenced in education research since, but as evidence that high stakes (and not cheating or lax s...
Article
Full-text available
Chapter
Full-text available
John Jacob Cannell’s late 1980s reports caught all U.S. states asserting that their students’ average scores on national norm-referenced tests were “above the national average.” The phenomenon was dubbed the “Lake Wobegon Effect,” in tribute to the mythical radio comedy community of Lake Wobegon, where “all the children are above average.” What ca...
Book
Measurement specialists describe the current state of public debate about testing across fields.
Chapter
Full-text available
Imagine this scenario if you can: A new surgical technique has been developed by medical surgeons that is estimated will provide health and longevity benefits to U.S. citizens on the scale of tens of billions of dollars. Over a thousand controlled studies have been conducted to date, and the aggregate results are overwhelmingly positive. Moreover,...
Article
Full-text available
In Measuring Up, Daniel Koretz continues his defense of the theory with which he is most famously identified: “Score inflation is a preoccupation of mine.” He argues that high-stakes testing induces “teaching to the test,” which in turn produces artificial test-score gains (i.e., test-score inflation). The result, according to Koretz: Scores on h...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
John J. Cannell's late 1980s "Lake Wobegon" reports suggested widespread deliberate educator manipulation of norm-referenced standardized test (NRT) administrations and results, resulting in artificial test score gains. The Cannell studies have been referenced in education research since, but as evidence that high stakes (and not cheating or lax se...
Conference Paper
Standardized testing has been called the greatest single social contribution of modern psychology, and it may be the most useful evaluation method available for human resource-intensive endeavors. For most of their history, however, standardized tests have been developed and administered on a large scale and large, typically politically-sensitive o...
Article
View on knowledge.sagepub.com
Article
View on knowledge.sagepub.com
Article
Paper presented at the 15th Congress of the World Association for Educational Research, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco, June 3, 2008
Article
To paraphrase A Nation at Risk: if an authoritarian government had attempted to impose on U.S. education journalists the level of censorship they have voluntarily imposed upon themselves, it would have been viewed as a betrayal of our democracy, an unconstitutional act.
Article
Full-text available
This report addresses issues of target population and coverage and examines the feasibility and desirability of other survey approaches for obtaining the required data with the desired sample sizes. Other existing federal statistical data collection efforts are considered for use as possible sources of samples for the SESTAT surveys. Thus, the repo...
Book
Provides non-specialists with a thorough overview of this controversial and complicated topic.
Article
View on nonpartisaneducation.org
Technical Report
Full-text available
P roponents of increased spending on public schools often describe funding adequacy studies as objective and scientific. They are neither. Study estimates of " adequate " education funding amounts vary widely across states and by method used, even when made by the same contractor. Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA), the most prolific of sever...

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