Richard Patz: Equitability Considerations in Construct Definition

October 5, 2021

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

2:00 – 4:00 PM (PDT) in BWW 1212 and Zoom


Defining constructs is fundamental in measurement theory and practice.  When subgroup results prove to be sensitive to the inclusion  or exclusion of elements of knowledge and/or skills in the construct, careful attention to principles of fairness and construct validation is warranted.  We examine and invite discussion of these issues and discuss how they arise in practical test development contexts.  Data from secondary school end-of-course exams in STEM are examined and illuminate the challenges.


Rich Patz is an educator, researcher and consultant who specializes in educational assessment and statistics. He has held numerous scientific and executive positions in the educational testing industry, and he has held visiting scholar appointments at several leading universities. He currently serves as a Distinguished Research Advisor at the BEAR Center and on the faculty of UC Berkeley’s Fall Program for Freshmen, where he teaches mathematics and statistics. He also maintains an active portfolio of consulting projects with innovative education and research organizations. Rich earned his masters and Ph.D. degrees in statistics from Carnegie Mellon University, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Grinnell College. A former high school mathematics teacher, he has an abiding interest in education and human development that animates his work. He has served in numerous volunteer and leadership roles, and is a past president of the National Council on Measurement in Education. An author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, Rich’s scholarship has focused on quantitative methods in the social sciences, and methodological and applied research in educational testing and measurement. His practical experience includes the development and utilization of advanced technologies in support of teaching and learning.