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Lynch School of Education

Diana C. Pullin

educational leadership and higher education department

Diana C. Pullin



Curriculum Vitae

Campion Hall
Room 205B



See my recent work on Educator Evaulation:





Ph.D., J.D., University of Iowa


Testing and the law; equity issues in testing; education law and policy; rights of students with disabilities; teacher performance assessment.


Selected items

Member of the Bar of the states of Iowa and Massachusetts.

Admitted to practice before: U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. District Courts for the Western District of Michigan, the Northern District of Iowa, the District of Massachusetts, and the Eastern District of Arkansas; and the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits.

Awards and Honors

(2009) Fellow, American Educational Research Association

(2008). Resident Fellow, Spencer Foundation

(2004, May).  Distinguished Teacher Award, Boston College

(2002, November). Crystal Apple Award to Outstanding Educators, 50th Anniversary Celebration of the College of Education of Michigan State Universary

Recent Books

(2008).  Assessment, equity, and opportunity to learn.  (P. Moss, D. Pullin, J. Gee, E. Haertel, and L. Young, eds.).  Cambridge University Press. 

(2002). Minority Students in Special Education and Gifted Education (M. S. Donovan & C. Cross, eds.). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press (Co-author as a member of the Committee on Minority Representation of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences).

(1999). Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Washington, D.C.: American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education (Co-author as a member of the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing).

(1997). Educating One and All: Students with Disabilities and Standards-Based Reform. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Study panel member and contributing author.

Recent Book chapters

(2008). Disability classification systems and the law of special education. Dilemmas and alternatives in the classification of children with disabilities: New perspectives. (M. McLaughlin and L. Florian, eds.).

(2008). The idea of an "opportunity to learn": Historical and methodological perspectives on policy challenges and research inquiries. (with Haertel, E. ). Assessment, equity, and opportunity to learn (P. Moss, D. Pullin, J. Gee, and E. Haertel, eds.). Cambridge University Press.

(2008). Individualizing assessment and opportunity to learn: The education of students with special needs.

(2008). Assessment, equity, and opportunity to learn: Principles for action. Assessment, equity, and opportunity to learn. (P. Moss, D. Pullin, J. Gee, and E. Haertel, eds.). Cambridge University Press.

(2007). Accommodations in testing: Law, policy and practice. Large-scale assessments and accommodations: What works? C. Cahalan Laitusis and L. Cook, eds. Arlington, VA; Council for Exceptional Children and Educational Testing Service.

(2005). When one size does not fit all—The special challenges of accountability testing for students with disabilities.  Uses and Misuses of Data for Educational Accountability and Improvement (E. Haertel and J. Herman, eds.).  Annual Yearbook of the National Society for the Student of Education.  104:2, pp 199-222).  

(2002). Testing Individuals with Disabilities: Reconciling Social Science and Social Policy. In Committee on Disabilities, American Psychological Association, (Eds.), Assessing Individuals With Disabilities in Educational, Employment, and Clinical Settings. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

(1999). Defining Difference: A Comparative Perspective on Legal and Policy Issues in Education Reform and Special Educational Needs. In M. McLaughlin & M. Rouse (Eds.), Comparative Perspectives on Education Reform and Students with Disabilities (pp.). London: Routledge. With. L. Florian.

(1999). Whose Schools are These and What are They For? The Role of the Rule of Law in Defining Educational Opportunity in American Public Education. In G. Cizek (Ed.), Handbook of Educational Policy (pp. 3-29). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

(1998). The Role of Standards and Assessment: A Dialogue. In M. Diez (Ed.), Changing the Practice of Teacher Education: Standards and Assessment as a Lever for Change (pp. ). Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. With Darling-Hammond, L., Diez, M., Moss, P. & others.

Recent Articles

(2013, January). Legal Issues in the Use of Student Test Scores and Value-added Models (VAM) to Determine Educational Quality. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21, 6.

(2012). Getting to the Core: Rewriting the No Child Left Behind Act for the 21st Century.  Rutgers Law Record. 

(2010, October).  Social science and the courts: Challenges and strategies for bridging gaps between law and research (with Julie Margetta Morgan).  Educational Researcher.  39:7, 515-524.

(2007, Winter).  Ensuring an Adequate Education: Opportunity to learn, law and social science.  Boston College Third World Law Journal.  27:1, 83-130.
(2006, Winter).  Ensuring an Adequate Education: Opportunity costs.  Boston College Third World Law Journal.  27:1.

(2005). The idea of testing: Expanding the foundations of educational assessment.  (with Pamela Moss, James Gee, Edward Haertel) Measurement: Interdisciplinary research and perspectives 3(2), pp 63-83. 

(2004, September/October).  Accountability, autonomy, and academic freedom in educator preparation programs.  Journal of Teacher Education 55:4, pp. 300-312. 

(2004, April 28). Teacher quality: More reasons it deserves attention. Education Week, 23(33), 48-86.

(2004, April). Education and alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities: Implications for educators. New Window Will OpenEducational Policy Analysis Archives. 12(16) (with Mary Zatta).

(2001, November). Challenges for the transformation of special education in the 21st century: Rethinking culture in school reform, Journal of Special Education Leadership (with Margaret J. McLaughlin & Alfredo J. Artiles).

(2001, July). Key questions in implementing teacher testing and licensing. Journal of Law and Education. 30, 383-429.

(2000, September/October). Can you take dictation? Prescribing teacher quality through testing. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(4). With S. Melnick.

Recent Law reports, bulletins, monographs, and technical reports

(2002, June). Exit documents and students with disabilities: Legal Issues (with J. Karger). Educational Policy Reform Research Institute, The Institute for the Study of Exceptional Children and Youth, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Available New Window Will Openonline.

(2002, June). Academic freedom in educator preparation programs. A paper presented to the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington, D.C.

(2002, June). Legal defensibility of professional judgment systems. Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington, D.C.

(2001, September). Understanding dropouts: Statistics, strategies, and high-stakes testing. (A. Beatty, U. Neisser, W. Trent & J. Heubert, eds.) Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. (Contributor as a member of the Committee on Educational Excellence and Testing Equity of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.

(2001, April). Legal viability checklist for personnel evaluations and personnel evaluation systems, download from The Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University, (with Daniel Stufflebeam).

Major Litigation

Debra P. v. Turlington, 474 F. Supp. 244 (M.D. Fla. 1979), 644 F. 2d 397 (5th Cir. 1981), 564 F. Supp. 177 (M.D. Fla. 1983), 730 F. 2d 1405 (11th Cir. 1984). Landmark federal court litigation challenging the use of minimum competency tests to determine the award of high school diplomas. The lawsuit resulted in a ruling on appeal that the use of a test as a high school graduation requirement violates the federal constitution and civil rights laws where test results perpetuate the effects of past unlawful racial discrimination or where educators are unable to prove that the test measures skills and knowledge students were actually taught in school.

Current Public Service Activities

Member, Board on Testing and Assessment, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C.

Associate Editor, Educational Policy 

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