University News

WNE Educator Selected to Join Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Committee

Published: November 29, 2023 | Categories: Faculty, All News
Dr. Ray Ostendorf

Western New England University (WNE) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Raymond J. Ostendorf, Associate Professor of Education, to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE) MCAS Bias and Sensitivity Committee (BSC). The appointment reflects Dr. Ostendorf's proven expertise and commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in K-12 education.

The MCAS Assessment Development Committees and MCAS Bias and Sensitivity Committee, integral to the development and evaluation of MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) test questions and materials, consists of more than 250 educators from Massachusetts public schools organized into 20 committees. The BSC focuses on identifying and addressing potential biases and sensitivity issues within test questions and passages.

The committee, comprised of approximately 25 educators including Dr. Ostendorf, ensures that questions are free from biases related to age, culture, ethnicity, gender, geography, languages spoken, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Committee members will also review test questions, scoring materials, and task scenarios post-field testing, contributing to the ongoing refinement of the assessment process.

Expressing gratitude for his appointment, Dr. Ostendorf remarked, "It's an honor to serve on this Committee and address concerns that will promote equitable chances for success."

Committee members, selected for their training in diversity, equity, and inclusion, possess a deep understanding of bias and sensitivity issues in K-12 education. Essential qualifications also include familiarity with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks and experience in the K-12 education environment.

The three-year term of service underscores the commitment of Dr. Ostendorf and his fellow committee members to enhancing the quality and fairness of the MCAS assessment system. WNE congratulates Dr. Ostendorf on this prestigious appointment and celebrates the university's ongoing contribution to the advancement of education in the Commonwealth.