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Nugent Represents UMES at ETS Conference

  • Monday, February 12, 2007

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - Michael A. Nugent, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Department of Education was a guest of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at the HBCU Invitational Conference on Assessment at their headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey earlier this month.


    Twenty-five teacher education deans and faculty members from Historically-Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) with expertise in standardized testing were invited to participate in a three-day workshop, on test development practices.


    As Praxis coordinator at UMES, Nugent plays an important role in preparing African-American teachers for America's K-12 classrooms. Nugent said "While a test cannot determine whether a person will be a good teacher, the truth is unless our students, our future teachers, take and pass the Praxis, we will never know how good a teacher they may have been." Under the "No Child Left Behind" legislation, teachers must be "highly-qualified." Teachers must pass the Praxis I in Marylandto meet those criteria.


    The conference was a hands-on workshop in which participants learned about the principles underpinning test development (reliability, validity, fairness) and received an overview of how Praxis tests are developed. The major portion of the workshop will be devoted to sessions on how to write test questions ("item-writing") and how to score constructed responses (short answer questions and essays).

    Participants examined how ETS revises and redevelops tests.  ETS officials said they are interested in the participant's insights into test development and scoring challenges.


    Nugent holds a bachelor's degree from Marist College, a master's degree in education from St. John's University, NY, and the required courses for certification as a school administrator from Salisbury University. He earned his doctorate at UMES. His dissertation topic was "Effects of a Praxis I Preparation Program on Praxis I Test Scores Among Students Attending a Historically Black University." He is a member of the first graduating class in the organizational leadership program at UMES.


    In addition to his work as Praxis coordinator, Nugent is also the director of the Delmarva Education Foundation's College/Career Access Program (DEF/CCAP), as well as the GEAR UP coordinator for both Somerset and Wicomico counties in Maryland.



    Ann Wilmer, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580,