Past President Robert Linn Dies

December 8, 2015

AERA Past President (2003) Robert L. Linn died on December 8 at age 77 of natural causes. Linn, who was Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Education in the Research and Evaluation Methodology program at the University of Colorado School of Education, was a major accomplished scholar in education research and an assessment expert widely regarded and well known.

An educational psychologist, Linn published more than 250 journal articles and chapters in books dealing with a wide range of theoretical and applied issues in educational measurement and assessment. His research explored the uses and interpretations of educational assessments, with an emphasis on educational accountability systems. He studied technical and policy issues relating to the application of test data, and the effects of high-stakes testing on teaching and learning.

“Bob was known not only for his ground breaking scholarly work, but also for his deeply ingrained decency, modesty, and spirit of generosity,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “His insight and foresight made him a leading public scholar on deeply important education and policy issues. I could not have been more blessed than to join AERA as executive director as he commenced his AERA presidency.”

Linn was an active AERA member for more than 40 years. He served as vice president of the AERA Division of Measurement and Research Methodology, and vice chair of the joint committee that developed the 1985 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.

He received the 1997 AERA Distinguished Contributions to Research Award, the association’s premier acknowledgment of outstanding achievement and success in education research, and the 1993 AERA E.F. Lindquist Award, in recognition of outstanding applied or theoretical research in the field of testing and measurement.

Linn served as president of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) and chair of the National Research Council Committee on Testing Assessment. He also won the 1995 NCME Career Contribution Award.

Linn was a Fellow of AERA, a member of the National Academy of Education, a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies, and a former editor of the Journal of Educational Measurement. He completed his Ph.D. and M.A. in educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Educational Researcher will publish a memoriam reflection on Linn in the January-February 2016 issue.