Recruitment of Panelists for Dissertation

Greetings all,
My name is Philip Norfolk, and I am a school psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Memphis. I am posting to ask for your help in recruiting expert panelists for my dissertation project.
My research design includes a process for obtaining expert input from teachers or other content area experts to define "minimal proficiency" in math and reading. It is hoped that the expert panelists will converge on a more "universal" standard for proficiency that separates an individual who is "proficient" in math or reading from those who, for whatever reason (e.g., too young, disability, lack of instruction, etc.), do not possess the requisite skills and would, therefore, be considered "not proficient."
I received a research grant for this study, and so panelists will receive a $250 honorarium for their time and expert opinion.
The study will be conducted using a web-based survey system, and would require about 5 hours of time over a period of about 4 weeks to be completed on the panelists' own time. There are set 'windows' for the completion of the training and rounds of bookmarking, but raters will be free to complete activities at their leisure during those windows (roughly 1 week to complete each phase).
As a quick summary, after some brief training, panelists will be asked to review select tests from the Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Achievement and then place a "bookmark" for every test by selecting the item or providing a score that represents the point at which an individual who is "minimally proficient" at mathematics or reading would be expected to have mastery of the skills required to complete the item. Panelists can participate in the math and/or reading portion of the study, depending on preference/content specialization.
I am targeting to begin this study in late June or early July.
For those interested in serving as a panelist, or if they would just like more info before deciding, please contact Phil Norfolk (email: Also, please feel free to forward this information to others in your extended networks you think might be interested.

Most appreciatively,

-Phil Norfolk


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Philip A. Norfolk
Doctoral Candidate | School Psychology
The University of Memphis


Good morning all,

In lines with my request for expert panelists, I was hoping to maybe generate some discussion and ideas regarding the concepts and practical use of an absolute level of skill to determine minimal proficiency (or even full mastery) in reading.

As a school psychologist, most of our assessment is completed using norm-referenced scores to report an individual's level of performance relative to same-age or same-grade peer groups. It seems that such reporting of this comparative level of performance might not tell the whole story regarding any particular individual's ability to function as an independent reader in society. I'm conceptualizing the utility of using an absolute level of performance that could be applied across age or grade that marks what particular skills an individual needs to possess in order to be a minimally proficient reader--an analogy would be something along the lines of "you must be this tall to ride the ride" except that "you must have these skills to be a reader."

I would be most open to some discussion or debate along these lines, and would appreciate if someone would like to share an argument and/or research results to help me refine this line of thinking. Any good anecdotes or better analogies that you all might be willing to share?

Thank you for your consideration,