EVA BAKER is a Distinguished Research Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She also serves as Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Evaluation (CSE) and National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) as well as its project, the Center for Advanced Technology in Schools (CATS). Both a three-time alumna and distinguished member of the faculty at UCLA, Baker earned her bachelor’s degree in English as well as her master’s degree and doctorate in education there before beginning a career spanning more than five decades. She is widely recognized for her scholarship in the areas of instruction and measurement, including the design and empirical validation of principles for developing instructional systems and new ways to measure complex human performance as well as the design and evaluation of assessment systems for education. As one of few female scholars in this area, especially during her early career, Baker has served as a role model for others in the field, including as Past-President of the World Educational Research Association (2010), American Educational Research Association (AERA, 2007), and Educational Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association (1985-1986),  and as a member of the National Academy of Education. Notably, she co-chaired the committee that produced the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999) and was congressional appointed as the Chair of the Board on Testing and Assessment and committee member of the National Council on Education Standards and Testing, National Research Council, and The National Academies. Her service in advisory roles includes departments of education, local education agencies, and teachers’ associations in more than 20 states; non-profit organizations; private sector employers and foundations; the U.S. military and contractors; and international entities and ministries of education in more than 15 countries. In recognition of her research and scholarship, she has received numerous awards and honors, including the Henry Chauncey Award for Distinguished Service to Assessment and Educational Science (2007, Education Testing Service), E.F. Lindquist Award for Outstanding Applied or Theoretical Research in the Field of Testing and Measurement (2013, AERA and American College Testing Program), and Robert L. Linn Distinguished Address Award (2014, AERA Division D Measurement and Research Methodology). Her extensive scholarly record with more than 500 publications, to date, includes the following most recently authored/edited books: Assessment of Problem Solving Using Simulations (2008, with J. Dickieson, W. Wulfeck, and H.F. O’Neil), International Encyclopedia of Education (3rd Edition) (2010, edited with P. Peterson and B. McGaw), Teaching and Measuring Cognitive Readiness (2014, with H.F. O’Neil and R.S. Perez), and Using Games and Simulations for Teaching and Assessment: Key Issues (2016, with H.F. O’Neil and R.S. Perez).

Video #1 – 25 Cents More

Born and raised in New York to parents who married young in life, Dr. Eva Baker reflects on her early years as a child of teenagers and how her family’s move to sunny California shaped her personal and professional journey in the years to come. While Dr. Baker notes some of the social challenges of attending public schools in Hollywood with the children of celebrities, she was always a good student who enjoyed reading and attending sporting events with her father at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), her future alma mater. She candidly shares the impetus for her later decision to earn a teaching credential as part of her master’s degree rather than focus on a pursuing a career as a writer, noting that a graduate assistantship in education paid 25 cents more per hour. In this clip, hear more from Dr. Baker about her path to the academy and beginning of a career at UCLA spanning more than five decades.

Video #2 – “Getting a Real Answer”

Reflecting on her early career, Dr. Eva Baker shares her experiences as one of few female faculty members during an exciting time of change at the University of California, Los Angeles. She describes working with prominent scholars in the area of assessment as “a different kind of reality” than being an English major and thinking at the time that empirical studies were a way of “getting a real answer.” Explaining that there is “a test for every purpose,” Dr. Baker cautions that issues of test validity and related inferences are often disregarded, especially when “trying to retrofit” an existing test in lieu of investing time to create a new one. Watch this clip to learn more from Dr Baker about the future of technology in creating multi-purpose tests for a fast-changing world.

Video #3 – Who Would Make a Quality Teacher?

Dr. Eva Baker, often the lone female in academic and professional circles throughout her career, shares how her strong relationship with her father, including their shared reading of Greek mythology, astronomy, and philosophy, influenced her development as a learner and scholar. She explains her early work in assessment, noting that she “started with the idea of validity as a number” and later shifted focus to the inferences drawn from and uses of test data. In this clip, hear more from Dr. Baker about the promise of computer gaming as a tool for teaching and assessment and the important question of “who would make a quality teacher” for the next generation of students.

Video #4 – The Person Who Told the Truth

In this clip, Dr. Eva Baker takes a retrospective view of her career, sharing that she is most proud of the ways her scholarship has influenced the work of others, even if not directly acknowledged. Rather than gaining recognition for a specific idea or concept, she would rather be known as “the person who told the truth” about “what was good and not so good about the measures they were using” with credibility and integrity. While conducting her latest research in collaboration with her husband, Dr. Harold “Harry” O’Neil, she also spends time enjoying activities such as art and exercise and hopes to write a narrative. In this clip, hear Dr. Baker’s advice to emerging scholars about how to take risks and have fun in the academy.

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