CREATE Week: Jim Van Haneghan on Stability and Change in an Organization Dedicated to Educational Evaluation

My name is Jim Van Haneghan, I am professor of Professional Studies at the University of South Alabama and current President of CREATE (The Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness. This week on AEA365 members of our group will be posting entries to AEA365. CREATE is celebrating its 25th annual conference this year. So, in this first entry, I want to talk about our organization and how it has evolved and developed over time. One way to trace its development is to look at how the words of the organizational acronym have morphed to reflect the changes over the years. CREATE started as the Center for Research on Educational Accountability and Teacher Evaluation, the results of a grant in the early 1990’s to improve evaluation practices in schools. As noted on Western Michigan’s Evaluation Center’s web page, the grant started the National Evaluation Institute (the CREATE conference), and when the grant was completed, the Center turned into a Consortium and the organization independently formed into the Consortium for Research on Educational Accountability and Teacher Evaluation with the yearly National Evaluation Institute.

Over the years, the organization has continued the conference and at one time had a journal. In recent years, we have realized the need to continue to build the organization so that we are truly a consortium that does more than run a conference. We also felt the need to update the name of the organization to reflect the idea that our conference and educational evaluation was more than accountability, teacher evaluation and K-12 education.   The practices and standards that CREATE promulgated were ones that were applicable in higher education and other educational settings. Lastly, we felt that so much evidence supported the formative side of assessment and evaluation that we needed a name that focused on the process of assessment and evaluation as well as the products. Hence, we decided to change the name of the organization to its present one: Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness. In making the name change, we felt the need to be aspirational and focus on the effectiveness of teaching rather than the evaluation of people. Further, we decided we needed to work again to develop institutional consortium members, something we have already begun and hope to expand.   Our hope that by joining forces, we can work to continue to be true to CREATE’s first mission—to promote high quality evaluation and assessment that supports effective teaching and learning.

Rad Resources:

  • CREATE’s home page provides information about CREATE:
  • Western Michigan’s Evaluation Center’s Past Projects and History pages provides some interesting history and background about CREATE and Educational Evaluation

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching (CREATE) week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from members of CREATE. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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