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Sandra P. Marshall

Distracter analysis was introduced as a means of investigating sex differences in mathematical performance. The data were responses to an assessment test given each year from 1976 to 1979 to all sixth-grade children enrolled in California public schools. Loglinear models were used to evaluate the consistency of response by each sex over 4 years. A significant interaction between sex and choice of distracter occurred for a large majority of the items. Hypotheses of sex differences based on Radatz's (1979) information-processing classification of errors were evaluated.

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Sandra P. Marshall and Alba G. Thompsonc

The field of educational assessment is rapidly changing. Calls for reform have been heard for some time, and they are now being heeded in unprecedented ways. One outcome is that we are suddenly undergoing a deluge of books and articles about assessment in mathematic education, ranging in topics from broad impassioned tatements about the need for change, to specific hypotheses about how to change and what the anticipated outcomes might be, to actual implementations representing specific efforts to change, to sharp criticisms about some of the unexpected results of change. The current situation leaves us, as reviewers, in something of a quandary. On the one hand, there is certainly a need to keep abreast of important contribution to the literature, and we want to review a many of the new books as is feasible. On the other hand, it seems somewhat unfair to review books that attempt to deal with ongoing and urgent changes in educational assessment. becaue they are all too often outdated by the time they appear. All researchers are aware of the lag between the time a manuscript is written and the time it reaches its audience. Sometimes the lag is great, and sometime it is s mall. For rapidly changing fields—like educational assessment—a large lag is especially problematic because what seems new and revolutionary at the time of writing may no longer appear so new by the time a reader encounters it. Such is the case with some of the books we review here.