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PROVE: Seven Questions for Jennifer Randall

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PROVE: Seven Questions for Jennifer Randall

Jennifer Randall, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Measurement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, founded the Center for Measuring Justice in January 2022. In the fall of 2022, she entered the University of Michigan. Credit: Courtesy of Jennifer Randall

Jennifer Randall is a fan of the psychometric field, a quantitative field of education that uses multiple-choice tests to measure IQ and student achievement. One of the few black scholars in the field, she argues that standardized assessments are in themselves racist. It is developing new types of “anti-racist” tests, calling for reparations. Due to SAT testing and failure of colleges, Randall’s star is rising. She launched the Center for Measuring Justice in early 2022. She advises Curriculum Associates, one of the largest appraisal companies in the country. And in the fall of 2022, she plans to join the University of Michigan with the department. Randall is currently an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

I spoke with Randall during the annual meeting of the American Association for Educational Research in San Diego, where the National Board of Measurement in Education also met in April 2022. The interview was compressed and edited for clarity.

Barsha: How are the tests racist?

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