Fear and Trembling? Shock and Awe? Which set of statements best describes the emotions surrounding the assessment of writing ability in educational settings? This book – the first historical study of its kind – begins with Harvard University’s 1874 requirement that first-year student applicants submit a short composition as part of the admissions process; the book concludes with the College Board’s 2005 requirement for an essay to be submitted as part of the new SAT®: Reasoning Test. Intended for teachers who must prepare students to submit their writing for formal assessment, administrators who must make critical decisions based on test scores, and policy makers who must allocate resources based on evaluation systems, On a Scale provides a much-needed historical and conceptual background to questions arising from national attention to student writing ability.
A Social History of Writing Assessment in America
An American Life
A leader in twentieth-century education, Henry Chauncey (1905–2002) introduced large-scale assessment into the lives of individual Americans. This first full-length educational biography examines Chauncey’s education at Groton School, Ohio State University, and Harvard College, his position as a teacher at William Penn Charter School, and his role as founding president of the Educational Testing Service. Documenting a career extending from the Great Depression through the end of the Cold War, this book provides an interpretative history of educational measurement through the careers of Chauncey and his contemporaries. As researcher, administrator, and writer, Chauncey dealt with topics central to the history of schools and schooling: the role of accountability in education; the value of individual difference; the identification of talent; the necessity of international perspectives; the resonance between technology and learning; and the impulse for social justice. This biography provides insight into the multidisciplinary factors that shaped the social enterprise of American education.