Why Read Poems

I’ve written before about how poetry gets a bad rap, which is so sad, because the reading of poetry can be such a pleasure. And it’s good for the brain, as noted here. Toward that end, here are several poems that swirled into my consciousness recently, poems that come with this warning: they are so beautiful and […]

The Big Idea, Cross-Referenced to Basic Rules of Item Writing

What endeavor doesn’t benefit from planning and preparation? What endeavor succeeds without preparation? Ah, fatal words! Too late in moving here, too late in arriving there, too late in coming to this decision, too late in starting with enterprises, too late in preparing. These first guidelines of the CCSSO/TILSA Quality Control Checklist for Item Development […]

What the World Needs Now

It may be unnecessary to say that in talking about what’s wrong, I don’t mean to pick on anybody in particular. Even if it is one person making specific mistakes, I tend to see this as a systemic ill, as previously discussed, rather than an opportunity to dogpile on an unwitting offender. A systemic ill […]

Speaking of Language, Cross-Referenced to Value-Added

Some item writers love multiple-choice language items; some hate them. I pitch my tent in the former category. Several years ago, I wrote all of the language items (writing conventions and writing strategies) that appeared on multiple parallel forms of a statewide high school exit examination.  Language items may be either standalone or passage-dependent. The […]