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Lynch School of Education

Diana C. Pullin

educational leadership and higher education department
affiliate professor, boston college school of law

Diana C. Pullin



Curriculum Vitae

Profile: Master teacher

Campion Hall
Room 205B



See some of my recent work on Educator Evaulation:





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

B.A., Grinnell College


Education law and public policy; testing and the law; opportunity to learn; educator quality; accountability in higher education; impact of social science research on legal and public policy decisions in education.


Awards and Honors

(2016) Visiting Scholar, Learning sciences Institute Australia, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane

(2011) National Associate, National Academy of Sciences

(2009) Fellow, American Educational Research Association

(2008). Resident Fellow, Spencer Foundation

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

Recent Professional and Public Service Activities

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

Member, Committee for a Five Year Summative Evaulation of the Washington, D.C. Public Schools

Associate Editor, Educational Policy

Recent Books

(2015). An evalution of the public schools of the District of Columbia: Reform in a changing landscape. Committee for the Five-Year (2009-2013) Summative Evaluation of the District of Columbia's Public Schools, Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press (Co-author as a member of the committee)

(2014) Performance, value, and accountability– public policy goals and legal implications of the use of portfolio assessments in the preparation and initial licensing of teachers. Washington, D.C.: Council of Chief State School Officers and Center for Assessment, Learning and Equality of Stanford University.

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

Recent Book chapters

(2012).  Judicial decisions in testing.  Encyclopedia of diversity in education.   (Banks, J., Ed.)  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

(2012).  Opportunity to learn standards.  Encyclopedia of diversity in education.   (Banks, J., Ed.)  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

(2010).  Judging teachers:  The law of teacher dismissals.  Teacher assessment and the quest for teacher quality.  (M. Kennedy, ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

(2009). Teacher unions.  21st century education (T. Good, ed.).  Sage.  (with S. Melnick).

(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.

Recent Articles

(2015, August 31). Performance measures for teachers and teacher education: Corporate education reform opens the door to new legal issues. Education policy analysis archives 23:81. Available at

(2014, Winter). Professional test standards in the eyes of the law. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice.

(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.

Law Practice

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, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits.

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.


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