Dr. Laura Hamilton

Dr. Laura HamiltonTitle

Implications of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing for Educational Policy and Accountability


This webinar focuses on the applications of the 2014 Standards for using tests for program evaluation, accountability, and other policy-related purposes. Although previous versions of the Standards address these uses, several changes were made to the current version in response to the growing prevalence of test-based accountability policies that rely on complex indices, such as scores from value-added models, and that impose consequences on students and educators. This webinar will provide an overview of the relevant standards and will discuss specific applications of them in high-stakes accountability environments.


Laura Hamilton is a Senior Behavioral Scientist and Associate Director of RAND Education, a faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and an adjunct faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Sciences and Policy program. Her research addresses educational assessment, accountability, the measurement and evaluation of instruction and school leadership, the use of data for instructional decision making, and evaluation of technology-based curriculum reforms. She is currently leading or co-leading projects examining high school reform, personalized learning, educator evaluation, and the measurement of interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies. She served as a member of the committee that revised the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and as chair of a What Works Clearinghouse panel on data-driven decision making, and she currently serves on several state and national panels on topics related to assessment, accountability, and educator evaluation. She is also an editor of the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology and an M.S. in statistics from Stanford University.

  1. Understand the main ideas presented in the Standards chapter on Program Evaluation, Policy Studies, and Accountability.
  2. Identify ways in which the material on foundations and operations in the Standards applies to the use of tests for evaluation, policy studies, and accountability purposes.
  3. Recognize the importance of subjecting not just tests, but the metrics used for decision making in accountability systems, to the kinds of validity, reliability, and fairness criteria suggested by the Standards.