Statement re: Professor Harvey Goldstein

It is with deep sadness that we have heard of the recent death of Professor Harvey Goldstein.

Harvey was a supporter and member of the Association for many years, and championed AEA-Europe from its earliest days, engaging with us in the European assessment community through our many conferences and activities by promoting our aims and goals and contributing to our meetings and gatherings. He was very much a part of the European assessment family, enjoying the criticality of debate he encountered within our association of assessment researchers, scholars and professionals.

Many of you will have known him from his great work in statistical methodology, especially his original work into multi-level modelling and his pioneering analysis software development in this field with the MLn and MLwiN statistical software packages. Many colleagues who I have talked to remember his training courses for these software packages and the fact that he attended most of them to teach and share his vast expertise, as well as his commitment and belief in better data and the best way to analyse it for valid interpretations of educational outcomes.

Others of us shared Harvey’s passion for social justice and equality perspectives in understanding assessment – its impact, power, uses and misuses. Another important aspect of his work was in the application of statistical models and analyses for a better, more sophisticated understanding of educational assessment outcomes and an improved comprehension of the complex web of factors that impact significantly on children and young people in our schools. He argued continually and robustly for complexity in understanding educational datasets when politicians and policy makers wanted (and still want) simplistic models and a ‘what works’ approach. Harvey constantly advocated that we critically account for the fine, influential gradations hidden in simple datasets; to not do this, and to take such data and simple analyses at face value, he argued, was a very precarious platform from which to create educational policy. His legacy will be that time and time again he was proven right!

To many of us in the European assessment community he was a friend, colleague and mentor, always supportive and giving of his time and expertise – we will miss him enormously. His work will live on in our own; the best way to honour his legacy.

We send our deepest sympathy and condolences to his wife Barbara and his son Tom.

Rest in peace Harvey.

Jannette Elwood
President: Association of Educational Assessment-Europe
On behalf of the AEA-Europe Council