During the 19th century, French essayist and novelist Marcel Proust — the author of In Search of Lost Time — created a parlor game that involved filling out a questionnaire to get to know the "true nature" of dinner guests. "Industry Insider" is the testing industry's take on Proust's game — an opportunity to get to know our colleagues just a little bit better.
Where do you work and what is your job title? I am the State Test Security Officer for the Maryland State Department of Education. How long have you worked in a job that involves test security? Fifteen years. Why do you think test security is important? Adhering to test security protocols helps to ensure fairness and standardization in testing. What is your favorite thing about your job? My job allows me to do some of the things I love – gathering the facts and keeping the details organized. What is the biggest challenge to test security today? Young people and their love of social media presents a challenge as students smuggle electronic devices into testing rooms and sneak selfies of them testing or of actual test content. What do you think will be the biggest challenge to test security 20 years from now? There will be an increase in the “Inspector Gadget” types of technology that will enable test takers to steal test content as well as obtain assistance while actually testing. Why do you think people outside of this industry should care about test security? Because test scores are used for admissions programs, certification, licensure, credentialing, etc., everyone should be concerned that the highest level of test security is maintained to ensure the validity and reliability of test scores. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Completing my Doctorate while independently purchasing a new home at the age of 28. If you could choose one superpower to help you in your quest to keep tests safe, which superpower would you choose? As I make random observations during testing, I often wish I were invisible so I could see what really transpires when I am not present. What is one thing that is sitting on your desk right now that is completely unrelated to work? A collection of tiny plastic ducks dressed in various costumes left as a memento from a former co-worker. What workplace skill do you wish you were better at? Score interpretation and data analysis. What is your lunchtime routine? A protein shake at my desk. What characteristic do you most value in a friend/colleague? Reliability. What characteristic do you most dislike in a friend/colleague? Insincerity. What words or phrases do you think are most overused in life and/or at the workplace? “Google it”, "conference call", and “on my radar”. What are your hobbies outside of work? Reading, mentoring, volunteerism, exercise, writing poetry, and working with the graduate chapter of my sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. Which person (alive, dead and/or fictional) do you most admire? My mother is my greatest inspiration and motivator. What is your favorite book or writer? Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A hologram of myself! What is your motto? “Greater is He that is within me than He that is within the world.”
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Tamara Lewis
Education Program Specialist/State Test Security Officer Maryland State Department of Education
Tamara Lewis, State Test Security Officer, Maryland State Department of Education
June Edition
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Industry Insider:
Tamara Lewis
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