Behind the Scenes of the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (NITE) in Israel
This talk provides a broad overview of the various activities of a professional testing institute, NITE, where I have been working in the past 6 years. For more than 30 years, NITE has been responsible for the Psychometric Entrance Test (PET) to Israeli Universities, including its development, administration, scoring and reporting. In addition to PET, NITE is responsible for over 15 smaller exams for higher education, including proficiency tests, non-cognitive tests, computer adaptive tests, internet-based tests and assessment centers. NITE has also been involved in numerous research and development projects.
For the past 5 years, I have managed one such project, which I will describe in further detail. As a contractor to The National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education (a branch of the Israeli Ministry of Education), NITE provides data cleansing, processing, analysis and reporting of large-scale assessments and surveys within the educational system. One of the main responsibilities of NITE in this context involves the GEMS‒ Growth and Effectiveness Measures for Schools. GEMS is a system of indicators aimed at providing information to the school principal and staff about how well the school functions in a variety of domains. This information helps schools monitor student progress in core subjects (Language, Math, English, Science and Technology) as well as the school’s climate and pedagogical environment. Every year, a third of the schools in Israel participates in the GEMS. I will elaborate on the complexities associated with large scale projects such as this one.
Tzur Karelitz is a senior researcher at the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation in Israel, and an instructor at the Hebrew University. In the past 5 years, he has been the director and psychometrician of a team that analyzes large-scale data from all the surveys and assessments conducted by the Ministry of Education. Tzur has a Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He previously worked at the Education Development Center (EDC), Tufts University, Boston College, and the BEAR Center.