June 17, 2024

reydetallarines

Technology and Age

PROOF POINTS: Seven questions for Jennifer Randall 

Jennifer Randall, an associate professor of education measurement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, founded the Center for Measurement Justice in January 2022. She is joining the University of Michigan in the fall of 2022. Credit: Courtesy of Jennifer Randall

Jennifer Randall is a firebrand inside the staid field of psychometrics, a quantitative area 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 themselves are racist. She’s developing new types of “anti-racist” tests as she calls for assessment reparations. With testing under attack and colleges dropping the SAT, Randall’s star is on the rise. She launched the Center for Measurement Justice at the start of 2022. She is advising Curriculum Associates, one of the biggest assessment companies in the country. And she’s slated to join the University of Michigan with an endowed chair in the fall of 2022. Randall is currently an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

I spoke with Randall during the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in San Diego, where the National Council on Measurement in Education was also convening in April 2022. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. 

Barshay: How are tests racist?