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Subject: Re: Henry Chauncey, Founder of the Educational Testing Service

David Lloyd-Jones
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Date Posted: February 26, 2003 1:01:28 EDT

I was a member of the professional staff of the US Congress during the early 1970's, and my boss, John Brademas (D. Ind.) was a Governor of Educational Testing Service for some years. On one occasion he had conflicting duties, a Visitors' meeting at Harvard and a Governors' meeting at ETS in Princeton, N.J. With the agreement of the Chairman he sent me to the Governors'meeting with his proxy.

Being a sceptic of all things test-ish or tinged with authority, I did a good deal of research on the whole place, and went loaded for bear -- though impressed by the fact that ETS did not in fact aim to separate the world into the fortunate and the unfortunate, as might have been my initial bias.

I did not get a chance to fire a shot: the Board already contained a number of academic researchers representative of the excellent staff, and their critical attitude toward all questions involving intelligence, education, attainments, ability, and so on and so forth, was more sceptical, better informed, and more corrosive in its critical content than anything I could bring to bear.

Clearly what Chauncey had creeated over his career was a very finely assembled machine -- with the astonishing quality that it kept itself running in part by trying very hard to tear itself apart.

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