Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know
Book: Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know , by W. James Popham, ISBN10: 0205510752, ISBN13: 9780205510757, Allyn & Bacon, Inc., February 2007, Paperback
W. James Popham has spent the bulk of his educational career as a teacher. His first teaching assignment, for example, was in a small eastern Oregon high school where he taught English and social studies while serving as yearbook advisor, class sponsor, and unpaid tennis coach. That recompense meshed ideally with the quality of his coaching.
Most of Dr. Popham's teaching career took place at UCLA where, for nearly 30 years, he taught courses in instructional methods for prospective teachers as well as courses in evaluation and measurement for graduate students. At UCLA he won several distinguished teaching awards. In January 2000, he was recognized by UCLA Today as one of UCLA’s top 20 professors of the 20th century. (He notes that the 20th century was a full-length century, unlike the current abbreviated one.) In 1992, he took early retirement from UCLA upon learning that emeritus professors received free parking.
Because at UCLA he was acutely aware of the perishability of professors who failed to publish, he spent his non-teaching hours affixing words to paper. The result: over 25 books, 200 journal articles, 50 research reports, and 175 papers presented before research societies. Although not noted in his official vita, while at UCLA he also authored 1,426 grocery lists.
His most recent books are Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know, 4th Ed. (2005) and Assessment for Educational Leaders (2006), Allyn & Bacon; The Truth About Testing: An Educator’s Call to Action (2001) and Test Better, Teach Better: the Instructional Role of Assessment (2003), ASCD; America’s “Failing” Schools: How Parents and Teachers Can Cope with No Child Left Behind (2005) and Mastering Assessment: A Self-Service System for Educators (2006), RoutledgeFalmer. He encourages purchase of these books because he regards their semi-annual royalties as psychologically reassuring.
In 1978, Dr. Popham was elected to the presidency of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He was also the founding editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a quarterly journal published by AERA. He has attended each year's AERA meeting since his first in 1958. He is inordinately compulsive.
In 1968, Dr. Popham established IOX Assessment Associates, an R&D group that formerly created statewide student achievement tests for a dozen states. He has personally passed all of those tests, largely because of his unlimited access to the tests’ answer keys.
In 2002 the National Council on Measurement in Education presented him with its Award for Career Contributions to Educational Measurement. In 2006 he was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the National Association of Test Directors. Dr. Popham’s complete 42-page, single-spaced vita can be requested. It is really dull reading.
Written with style and whimsey, this text focuses on what classroom teachers really need to know about assessment rather than looking at a collection of measurement esoterica. This well-written book is grounded in the reality of teaching today to show real-world teachers who want to use assessment in their classrooms the latest tools necessary to teach more effectively. The fifth edition of Classroom Assessment addresses the range of assessments that teachers are likely to use in their classrooms. With expanded coverage of problems related to measurement of special education children, a new student website with online activities, and an improved instructor’s manual, this book continues to be a cutting edge and indispensable resource not only for instructors, but also pre and in-service teachers.
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