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A HISTORY OF ATP ADVOCACY & MILESTONES

 

            Milestone 1992 – The former Association of Personnel Test Publishers (APTP) is dissolved and the Association of Test Publishers (ATP) is incorporated.

 

In 1992-93 ATP was there when…

... a Rhode Island House Bill (H.B. 8781) would have prohibited employers from requiring job applicants to take some types of standardized tests.  ATP representatives testified against this bill.  ATP's intervention and education of legislators led to a solid defeat (14-1) of the bill in Committee.

 

In 1994 ATP was there when...     

            ...  test publishers found themselves threatened in the courts of Ontario, Canada, where the disclosure of test materials was being ordered.  ATP intervened as amicus curiae in a judicial appeal and provided background information to assist the court in understanding how tests are developed, validated and how lack of security would adversely impact test publishers and test users.  As a result, the court set aside the order, finding that disclosure of the student's test booklet and scores, and revealing items used for future testing,  would be "patently unreasonable."

 

In 1995 ATP was there when...     

            .... an initiative to give parents of students in Oregon the right to copy test questions was defeated.  House Bill 2701 would have required school districts to make all instructional materials used in connection with any survey, analysis or evaluation available for inspection by parents. The bill's language was being interpreted to allow parents to reproduce or take notes on test items before their use.  Before the bill was taken up on the House floor, at the joint request of both ATP and the Oregon Department of Education, the bill's sponsor agreed to exempt test questions and procedures from the inspection requirement.  In the Oregon Senate, all language concerning parental inspection was stricken from the final bill, defeating the initiative.

 

In 1996 ATP was there when...

...  the Florida State Board of Psychology attempted to restrict the use of certain psychological tests.  ATP provided the Florida officials with new insights about publishers' test purchaser qualification requirements and the procedures test publishers use to screen test purchasers, thereby diminishing their concerns about the distribution of tests to unqualified individuals.  The result of the meeting was a new, more favorable, draft of the Florida regulations..

 

            Milestone 1997 - ATP welcomes the Certification Division to join its founding Divisions: Education, Clinical, Industrial/Organizational

 

In 1997 ATP was there when...

... President Clinton signed into law the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which included some of the most sweeping  provisions ever adopted by the federal government for assessing students with disabilities.  ATP monitored the bill every step of the way, making sure that key assessment provisions remained intact. 

 

In 1998 ATP was there when...

... an eleventh hour amendment to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (H.R. 2281) would have granted broad access rights to parents to circumvent technological copyright protections and obtain copies of any "test, examination or other evaluation of a student's ability."  ATP convinced House and Senate conferees to remove the harmful language before the legislation was passed and signed by President Clinton.

 

In 1999 ATP was there when... 

...  a draft document released by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), which took a position using "disparate impact" analysis in high-stakes testing situations that would have spawned litigation over the use of tests in state programs and sharply limited the use of test scores in college admissions and financial aid decisions.  ATP, along with the Test Committee of the Association of American Publishers ("AAP"), worked together to propose a more balanced revised draft to emphasize the appropriate uses of tests.

 

In 2000 ATP was there when...

... a test publisher was accused of selling a psychological instrument as a medical device without federal  approval -- the Federal Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") notified the creator and distributor of the screening instrument that he was violating the law.  The FDA ruled that the test was "considered a medical device because it was used to diagnose a medical condition," and therefore could not be used without prior FDA approval.  Representatives from ATP and the American Psychological Association ("APA") met with FDA officials in Washington D.C.  Later that year the FDA determined that the instrument did not fall within the agency's purview.

 

            Milestone 2000 - ATP launches its first conference: Computer-Based Testing: Applications for the New Millennium, later it would change its name to:Innovations in Testing

 

In 2003 ATP was there when...

            ... the Florida State Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision and supported the need to protect the security of items used in the statewide K-12 testing program.  ATP filed a  brief as amicus curiae, supporting the publisher and the Florida Department of Education. All three judges agreed that test booklets and questions were not student records, and therefore did not need to be made public.           

 

In 2004 ATP was there when...     

            ...Representative Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, needed help analyzing the National Reporting System used to assess children in the Head Start Program.  Rep. Hinojosa later sent a letter of thanks to ATP in which he wrote: "I hope that I can continue to call on the Association of Test Publishers for expert analysis and guidance on this important topic."

 

In 2005 ATP was there when...

            ...H.B. 42 was passed in the Utah legislature. This law would have allowed parents to receive copies of mental health tests prior to their administration in school settings. This would have inhibited the proper use of the tests, crippled the meaningfulness of test results and compromised the security and future usefulness of the assessments being used.  ATP wrote to the Governor of Utah urging him not to sign this bill and energized local school psychologists to lobby for a veto of this bill as well. The bill was eventually vetoed by the Governor.

 

In 2006 ATP was there when...

...U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings invited leaders of the major test publishers, along with ATP,  to her Washington, D. C. office to urge them to redouble their efforts to ensure accuracy and quality controls for scoring state assessments under the No Child Left Behind Act.  In response, ATP took a leading role in working within the industry to establish best practices for large, high-stakes testing programs. This meeting provided the impetus for launching the Operational Best Practices initiative with the Council of Chief State School Officers, resulting in the publication of best practices for K-12 statewide testing programs, first in 2010 and then again in 2013.

 

Milestone 2006 - ATP welcomes its first Regional Division - Europe-ATP ("E-ATP")

 

In 2007 ATP was there when...

... the American National Standards Institute ("ANSI") informed the industry about a  proposal for international standards that would have presented a serious conflict with Joint Standards. In response, over the next three years ATP played a leading role as administrator for the delegation for a U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO PC260 and Head of the U.S. Delegation, in organizing U.S. participation in the development of final International Standards for the delivery of tests in occupational settings, ISO 10667 (Parts 1 & 2).

 

In 2008 ATP was there when...

...  the U.S. Department of Justice requested comments on the issue of Non discrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations in Commercial Facilities.  Because of the ATP comments, the U.S. General Accountability Office subsequently interviewed ATP to follow up on how to handle test administration issues for disabled test takers.

 

            Milestone 2009 - E-ATP launches first Growing Talent in Europe: Gaining Advantage Through Assessment Conference in Brussels

 

2009 ATP was there when...

            ... the U.S. Department of Education requested comments in regard to a proposal to fund "grants to consortia of States for the development of common, high-quality assessments aligned with the applicant consortium's common set of K-12 standards that are internationally benchmarked and that build toward college and career readiness." The notice was related to $450 million in funding for Race to the Top assessments authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Also in 2009; ATP pointed out that commercial publishers produce innovative quality assessments and that the Department should encourage fair and open competition through transparent procedures, and design the initiative to avoid a "winner take all" outcome. Also in 2009, ATP filed comments with the EEOC regarding proposed amendments to existing regulations under the Americans with Disabilities ("ADA" ) of 1990. In the comments ATP contended that "while some of the proposed changes were appropriate under the ADA, others were predicated on erroneous and incomplete assumptions and should not be adopted as written."

 

In 2010 ATP was there when...

            .... the Council of Chief State School Officers ("CCSSO") and ATP jointly released the first edition of Operational Best Practices for Statewide Large-Scale Assessment Programs (OBP), following three years of work by the two organizations. That same year ATP also released the third edition of the Model Guidelines for Pre-employment Integrity Testing.

 

            Milestone 2011 - ATP welcomes its second Regional Division, Asia - ATP  ("A-ATP")

 

In 2011 ATP was there when...

            ...  there was Call for Comments on the revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. The ATP Standards Committee provided a unified voice for the test publishing industry in responding. Also in 2011, ATP’s Interoperability Study Group produced a major paper with recommendations on improving interoperability of educational assessment systems, which was shared with the Schools Interoperabilty Framework and IMS Global, two competing standards organizations, and was later shared with the U.S. Department of Education.  That same year ATP participated in a meeting held by the Brookings Institute to consider the future of credentialing programs, and then submitted comments urging that the definition of credentials be expanded and how assessments should serve all such programs.  Also that same year the ATP Security Committee ("ATPSC") released a major document dealing with Security Messaging for Testing Programs.

 

In 2012 ATP was there when...

            ... the U.S. Government Accountability Office ("GAO") launched a study aimed at addressing testing irregularities, security breaches and cheating by students and teachers/principals.  The GAO called upon ATP to provide insights and expertise to guide their efforts, including a survey of every state's testing program.  In reporting the results of that survey to Congress, the GAO cited language and guidelines taken directly from ATP's 2010 Operational Best Practices publication.  Also that same year, ATP submitted comments on cheating and its impact on test integrity to the U.S. Department of Education.

 

            Milestone 2012 - ATP welcomes its third Regional Division, India-ATP ("I-ATP")

 

In 2013 ATP was there when...

            ... the Minister of Education for Oman specifically requested a meeting with ATP representatives and ATP members during a week-long tour of U.S. educational centers. Also in 2013: ATP organized industry comments to the U.S. Department of Education on changes to procedures on peer review of assessments built to the Common Core State Standards under Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; Version 2 of the Operational Best Practices was released, expanding the original document to focus on technology-based assessments and updated theories of student accessibility; and the ATP Security Committee ("ATPSC") released a major document: Security Options, Considerations by  Delivery Channel and Assessment Model.

 

In 2014 ATP was there when…

            ... the International Testing Commission invited test publishers to provide unified comments on Security Guidelines developed by the International Testing Commission; and the EEOC invited comments on its proposal to adopt regulations for what federal agencies need to do to be “model employers of individuals with disabilities.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Also in 2014 ATP was there when...

            ...test publishing and assessment providers from around the world wanted an organization with a mission that was consistent with theirs to: influence public policy in their regions so that test use is protected; to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights; to identify and promote best practices in testing; positively influence the public's perception of testing and ensure efficient and effective processes to accomplish this work. Test publishers in Asia, India, Europe, South American, Canada, and other nations in the Pacific Rim, looked to ATP to become a global voice in testing. As a result, ATP's members voted to amend the By-Laws and create an International organization that will carry on the work into the next decade of creating a unified, global and intelligent voice for testing.

 

 Milestone 2014 - ATP welcomes Workforce Skills Credentialing as ATP's fifth Practice Area Division

 

In 2015 ATP was there when...

            … when a New Jersey School Superintendent expressed concern over the monitoring of social media during the administration of a common core test. This concern was raised at a time when the practice of monitoring social media during high stakes testing has become standard in the test security/test publishing industry. The American Federation of Teachers ignited further public debate by launching a petition challenging the practice. Caught in the cross-fire were several ATP members. ATP CEO Dr. William G. Harris defended ATP members, pointing Education Week to the 2013 edition of the Operational Best Practices for State-wide Large Scale Assessment Programs, which recommends the use of social-media monitoring to protect the integrity of state assessments. "When assessments are administered over a wide geography and many weeks, instead of days, there needs to be a way to ensure the integrity of the items, the administration of the test, and also the results," Harris stated.

 

Also in 2015 ATP was there when…

            …A statement release by President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Education to review its policies. The statement went as far as to propose an actual cap of 2% on classroom standardized testing.  ATP CEO William G. Harris wrote to the White House reminding the President that a random “testing cap” mistakenly focuses attention away from the critical issues that have been identified by the Education Department which include the development of assessments that are strategic, coherent, non-redundant, high quality and actionable.

 

In 2016 ATP was there when...

            …the American Psychological Association (APA) proposed guidelines for Occupationally-Mandated Psychological Evaluations (OMPEs). ATP submitted comments noting several specific areas in which the guidelines could be improved including clear distinctions between professional practice guidelines and clinical practice guidelines, clearer guidelines for the alignment of assessments with their expressed purposes, additional guidance on the need for security policies and an added guideline stating that the use of non-clinical assessment instruments in pre-employment or employment settings should not be restricted to only licensed psychologists.

 

Also in 2016 ATP was there when…

            … The EU-US Privacy Shield Framework, designed and approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission, became effective on August 1, 2016. The new Privacy Shield is the fastest and easiest way to obtain adequate protection for a business or organization. ATP released a checklist for its members so that they could be better prepared to seek certification when the self-certification process re-opened by the U.S. Department of Commerce in January 2017.

 

In 2017 ATP was there when...

            …the U.S. Library of Congress disregarded the rights of test publishers in crafting new copyright regulations that would force test publishers to disclose actual test items. This action represents a devastating blow to owners of computer-based and computer-adaptive tests, computer-mastery tests, and linear on-the-fly tests. ATP has submitted a letter on behalf of ATP and will continue to intervene in this volatile situation until a more favorable resolution is achieved…stay tuned…

 

            ...This year and next year ATP will still be out there, with the support of its members, standing watch over the global test publishing/ assessment services industry.

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