Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment (CPTA): 2008 Annual Report

Chockalingham Viswesvaran, Ph.D., Chair

The Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment (CPTA) held two meetings in 2008.  The first took place in March in conjunction with the APA Consolidated Meetings. The second occurred in September as part of the APA fall meeting schedule.  The following report summarizes the major issues the Committee focused on over the past year.

Position Statements: Final provisions approved as part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the revision of the APA Ethics Code prompted CPTA members to begin revision of a CPTA authored document on the disclosure of test data in 2003.  A sub-committee of CPTA completed this effort this year. 

Convention Session:   CPTA sponsored a one-hour symposium at the APA convention in Boston, MA.  The title of the symposium was “Standardized Testing: Prospects and Pitfalls.”   Speakers included, Dr. Janet Helms, Institute for The Study & Promotion of Race & Culture, Boston College, and Dr. Wayne Camara, The College Board, Research Division. CPTA member,
Dr. Chockalingam Viswesvaran, Florida International University served as the session chair.

Description of Session:  “Standardized psychological tests are used widely in different settings such as school placements, clinical assessments, personnel selection decisions in organizations, forensic evaluations, etc. 

Large scale standardized tests have increasingly come under fire both on technical issues and for their impact on societal outcomes.  To ensure that the tests are properly developed, administered and interpreted, APA has promulgated several standards, codes and guidelines.  Several symposia and posters are annually presented at the APA convention on these topics.  In addition to scientific and technical issues, it is important to heed the public perceptions of testing as societal values influence acceptance of our psychological tools and interventions.  One common theme is that there is a cult of testing and that students are over-tested in schools.” 

International Test Commission (ITC):
CPTA member and ITC Secretary, Dr. Ron Hambleton attended the 2008 meeting of the International Test Commission (ITC) July 14-16, 2008 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The theme of the conference was “The Impact of Testing on People and Society: Enhancing the Value of Test Use.”  The next meeting of the ITC is scheduled to take place July 19-21, 2010 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.  Former CPTA member, Dr. Fred Leong continued to serve as the APA representative to the ITC in 2008. 

Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE):
CPTA member, Dr. Frank Worrell represented APA at the fall 2008 meeting of the JCSEE which was held at APA headquarter in Washington, D.C.  During 2008, Dr. Worrell continued to participate in two on-going JCSEE sponsored projects, the revision of the Personnel Evaluation Standards (in Education) and the Program Evaluation Standards.

CPTA Collaborations:  CPTA continued its participation in the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE). Dr. Frank Worrell represented CPTA at the meetings of the Coalition in 2008.
In 2008, CPTA continued activities related to the revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing which began in 2007.  CPTA will oversee the document’s revision process for APA, which is expected to take at least three years. Currently, two members of CPTA, Dr. Frank Worrell and Dr. Mike Kolen serve on the Joint Committee for The Revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.

CPTA continued to monitor the development of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) proposal, DIN 33430, Requirements for Proficiency Assessment Procedures and their Implementation for APA in 2008.  The ISO is an international standards organization whose members include various countries from around the world.   The DIN proposal is designed to establish standards for practice related to such topics as: standardization of psychological assessment services related to assessment planning; the selection, integration, implementation and evaluation of assessment procedures; interpretation of assessment results and judgment formation; and qualifications of individuals taking an active part in the assessment process. 

Policy Issues:  CPTA continued to address a variety of policy issues in 2008.  Most notably, assessment provisions contained in proposed legislation related to the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
In 2008, members of CPTA included:  Chockalingam Viswesvaran, PhD, Chair Marcia Andberg, PhD, Madonna Constantine, PhD, Dawn Flanagan, PhD,
Ron K. Hambleton, PhD, Michael Kolen, PhD, Robert McCaffrey, PhD,
Eric Miller, PhD, and Frank Worrell, PhD.

Diversity is represented in the membership of CPTA.  In 2008, CPTA consisted of six males and three females.  Two members are African-American, and seven are white/Caucasian.  During their September 2008 meeting, members of CPTA elected Dr. Marcy Andberg as Committee chair for 2009.