CREATE Vision: The vision of the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness (CREATE) is improved student learning, development, and achievement in PK-12 schools, institutes of higher education, and other educational settings.

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In this issue:

President's Message 

Dear CREATE Colleagues,

CREATE 2016 is right around the corner, and we are looking forward to an exciting 25th CREATE conference. We believe we have in store for you a quality conference with exciting invited speakers, interesting presentations, and opportunities for networking.  In 25 years this organization has been interested in building bridges between researchers and practitioners so that both learn how to better assess and evaluate people and programs.  It is one of the main reason I come back to CREATE each year.  

We are excited to present this year’s Jason Millman Award to Dr.  James Pellegrino, a scholar who has bridged scholarly work in cognitive and learning sciences to assessment in schools.  We will also feature an invited address by Thomas Guskey, a former Millman Award winner who has provided insight into student evaluation as well as evaluation of professional development.  Yet another invited talk will be given by Create board member Dr. John Fischetti, Head of the School of Education at the University of Newcastle in Australia, who will present his work on assessment.  Along with invited speakers, we are going to feature a 25th CREATE anniversary panel to examine advances in accountability, assessment, and evaluation over the last 25 years.  The panel features many early participants and founding members of CREATE.  The session can help us take stock of how educational accountability, assessment, and evaluation have changed over the past 25 years. 

I think you will find this year’s venue, The Embassy Suites in Downtown Louisville, a wonderful setting for the conference.  Not only are the facilities welcoming, but the area around the hotel has many restaurants and nightlife within walking distance.  The 4th Street live entertainment area is steps outside the hotel.  

As we move ahead with CREATE, I want to encourage our membership to consider ways we can further build the organization beyond the conference.  For example, I would really like for the organization to sponsor a monograph or journal again that takes advantage of the strengths of its membership. One strength of CREATE members is knowledge of standards for good assessment, evaluation, and accountability practices.   Hence, one idea might be a journal, or perhaps a yearly publication, that reviews policies practices in light of standards.  With so many policies related to assessment, evaluation, and accountability implemented each year, a compendium of what the consequences of such policies are might serve as a useful tool for those who may be asked to support or implement such practices.  This is just one idea among many for building CREATE into an organization that has value to its members and their institutions. If you see me at the conference, stop me and tell me (or any board member) your ideas about how we can continue to build CREATE.  Or send me an email:  I would be happy to talk to you about this or any other ideas you have to help enhance the value of CREATE. 

James Van Haneghan, CREATE President


CREATE Conference 2016

Registration is open for our exciting 2016 CREATE Conference in Louisville, KY.
September 29-October 1, 2016

by Don Klinger
President-Elect, CREATE

As September begins, we are all looking forward to the 25th Annual CREATE conference, coming to Louisville, Kentucky, from September 29 until October 1. This year’s conference will be held at the Embassy Suites, Downtown, and in honor of our 25 year anniversary, we have a very exciting program focused on issues, challenges and research for those of us working to support effective teaching and learning.

First and foremost, the Millman Award will be presented to Dr. James Pellegrino, Professor and Co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois Chicago. Dr. Pellegrino will present a talk and receive his award at CREATE’s 25th conference on September 30, 2016. Dr. Pellegrino has made wide-ranging contributions in areas of assessment, learning, and educational policy that are at the forefront of where education in the 21st Century should be.

This year’s conference will also include a panel of previous Millman Award winners who will reflect on the 25 years of CREATE. As with every CREATE conference, there will be a number of concurrent sessions presented by researchers and practitioners. These sessions will provide further insights into our assessment and evaluation efforts within schools and school systems. The presenters at CREATE deeply understand both the potential benefits and challenge of our evaluation models and their presentations will be sure to provide new ideas for both research and practice.  The CREATE Conference also recognizes emerging researchers through the Doctoral Student Poster Session and Reception, and the Achilles-Harper-Swenson Emerging Research award.

I have found every CREATE conference I have attended to be a source of new ideas and understandings. These conferences have provided me with new colleagues and collaborative opportunities. Given the program for the 2016 conference, I am sure Louisville will carry on that tradition to an even greater level. Do not miss this opportunity to better understand where we have been and where we are going in terms of evaluation and effectiveness research and practice, and to find new colleagues who share your interests and questions.  For those of you who have not yet registered, there is still time to become involved with the 25-year conference and tribute to our continued efforts. As the incoming president for CREATE, I look forward to meeting all of you in Louisville. 

News for Graduate Students @ CREATE

by Jessica Harlan
CREATE Board Member

Why Should Doctoral Students Attend CREATE? Last week, I was working on the evaluation of a student research symposium. Groups of high school and undergraduate students had spent the summer working in basic science and clinical labs around my campus, and they presented their findings to the community at a series of poster sessions. For most of the students, this summer was the first time they had been involved in formal research. Everything about the process was new, challenging, and exciting. One of the questions I asked the students on their evaluation form was what surprised them most about the research symposium. I was particularly intrigued by two of the themes that emerged.

First, the students were surprised by how many people were interested in hearing about their work. Second, the students were surprised by how excited and accomplished they felt when they were able to successfully explain and answer questions about their research. Reading the reflections of these students reminded me about the thrill of being a brand new researcher.

As a doctoral student, it’s easy to get bogged down in the coursework, exams, procedural requirements, and everything else that slowly moves you towards your dissertation. Sometimes, it takes something outside the daily routine to remind us of why we’re doing this in the first place. Presenting at and attending conferences like CREATE gives you the opportunity to recapture the excitement of research. At CREATE, you’ll hear from full time researchers, teachers, district staff, and school administrators. While they might all be working in different contexts, they’re all focused on helping to create a strong, effective educational system.

One of the unique features of the CREATE conference is the strong respect for and valuing of the work of new researchers. In my experience, people at CREATE are eager to hear about the new work being done by graduate students. Whether you’re presenting your own research or discussing someone else’s with them, you bring fresh perspectives to the conversation. As a doctoral student, it’s a wonderful opportunity to see where your own work fits within that of others in the field. Talking about your research and seeing it valued at something like the CREATE conference can help to jump start the excitement that made you start on this path. This community of researchers and practitioners are eager to hear about your work, and to share their own with you. You’ll meet researchers whose work you’ve been reading, find new colleagues and collaborators, hear about practical ways research is being implemented in practice, and have some fun and good food along the way.

I encourage you to meet with us at CREATE in Louisville for engaging conversations, practical learning, and a beautiful location. Bring your enthusiasm for research and education, and you’ll find a community to share it with.

History of CREATE
and Celebrating 25 Years of CREATE at This Year’s CREATE Conference

By Dan Stufflebeam and Paula Egelson, CREATE Board Member

(Note: Daniel Stufflebeam was the first director of CREATE.)

Initiated in 1991, the CREATE organization was an outgrowth of the Western Michigan University (WMU) federally-funded Center for Research on Educational Accountability and Teacher Evaluation. Pursuant to the US government's interest, the center's primary focus was on improving teacher evaluation. Beyond that focus, CREATE engaged a national group of collaborating organizations and individuals to work on improving personnel evaluation generally (especially evaluations of school principals, district superintendents, and support personnel) as well as evaluations of students and programs. During the center's five years (1991-1996), its personnel wrote and published an extensive range of books, journal articles, monographs, and special papers and also played the lead role in developing the first set of national Personnel Evaluation Standards. Of course, the CREATE center also was instrumental in launching the successful and longstanding CREATE organization.

Throughout the CREATE project's five years and beyond, WMU's Evaluation Center maintained a Web site devoted to making CREATE products available to schools, universities, and other parties. The Center also archived many of the CREATE project materials. One of CREATE's significant contributions was the introduction of Bill Sanders and his value-added work to the field of education. Another important contribution of the CREATE project was the Evaluation Center's evaluation of and assistance in reforming the U.S. Marine Corps Performance Review System for evaluating sergeants and officers.

At the outset of the CREATE project, government officials made clear that the project would not be renewed after five years. It was clear that a project on teacher evaluation was a hot potato. Members of Congress wanted the center. It appeared that powerful special interest groups in education were threatened by the prospect of serious teacher evaluation and lobbied against the center's initial establishment and any long-term future for it. It was very unfortunate, because, to repeat the words of our dear departed colleague, Jason Millman, the CREATE center was the most productive research & development center he had ever seen.

During this year’s CREATE Conference 2016 in Louisville, a celebration of 25 years of CREATE will take place. During the opening session on Saturday, October 1, a panel of early CREATE board members will speak about the current state educational evaluation, accountability or assessment. Honored panelists will include Bob Rodosky, Arlen Gullickson, James Stronge and Sandra Horn. 


Announcing our 2017 CREATE Conference!

Our 2017 CREATE Conference will be held in Virginia Beach, VA from October 5-7, 2017! Make your plans now to attend!
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Copyright © 2016
Newsletter Editors: Dr. Jennifer Clayton (GWU), Dr. Margie Desander (WKU), Dr. Paula Egelson (SREB)

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