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Another milestone for the CAIA Association was reached this April when twenty-four CAIA Members came to Amherst to participate in the tenth semi-annual CAIA Grading Jamboree. At this event, graders participate in training, then grade essay responses for the Level II examinees. "I look forward to the grading experience and welcome the invitation to assist CAIA in this important work," said Jerry Harris, a veteran CAIA grader. This impression was echoed by others who came away with an appreciation for the time and effort that goes into the planning and execution of scoring CAIA essay questions.
"We design the process with the candidate in mind," said Nelson Lacey, Director of Examinations. "What's critical is that when it's all over, we can say that, without a doubt, the process was fair and that our candidates were given every opportunity to earn points." Each response is read by a team of two graders, and the scores are compared for consistency. "No candidate should feel that his or her score depended upon one person who happened to be assigned to them," said Lacey.
While the group worked for two straight days, time was built in to network and to enjoy a New England college town. "The question I'm typically asked is, 'How did the Jamboree go?'" said Lacey, "and the answer is, 'we got everything done and had a good time.' It doesn't get much better than that."
Participating as first time graders were (in alphabetical order) John Baillie, Robert Bennett-Lovsey, Erik Benrud, Mark Bhasin, Tom Carpenter, Michael Cimmino, Rechelle Effendy, George Heidenreich, Thomas Kehoe, Hemal Naran, Wingee Sin, and Esther Zurba, who were joined by senior graders James Bachman, Amy Benson, Max Corvin, Jerry Harris, Marianne Kennedy, Annie Lo, Carling Luk, Robert Murphy, Kweku Obed, Daryl Purdy, Timothy Walkley, and Janet Yuen. CAIA staff members included Kathy Champagne, Hossein Kazemi, Nelson Lacey, Kristaps Licis, Jeanne Miller, Bridget Shanahan, Andrew Tetreault, and Dee Weber.
The next grading jamboree is scheduled for October 2010 in Amherst.
Director of Examinations