ETS’s Jhan Doughty Berry at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit

By Jhan Doughty Berry

Lending her voice to the national discussion about ways to close the achievement gap among African-American students and raise their workforce preparedness, Jhan Doughty Berry, Executive Director, Develop Talent and Diversity, was a panelist at a recent Black Enterprise (BE) Women of Power Summit, an event attended by more than 1,000 people.

Berry’s remarks focused on how ETS, through its research and ever-advancing technology, is committed to providing assessments that are not only accurate, but fair and equitable to all. The panel was called “21st Century Learning: Engaging Minds Through Innovative Learning.”

“The BE Smart panel provided an opportunity to highlight our efforts to ensure our work is equitable, psychometrically sound and valid,” Berry said. “This was important for an audience that is sometimes skeptical about the purpose of standardized tests.”

The goal of the panel discussion was to seek solutions to the educational achievement gap, find ways to raise involvement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, help young people acquire 21st Century technical skills and encourage educational institutions to build technology into their primary to postsecondary curricula.

Berry was joined by Moderator, Suzanne Elise Walsh, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Nena Ugwuomo, founder and CEO of Student Dreams, Jedidah C. Isler, Ph.D., astrophysicist, and chancellor’s faculty fellow in physics at Syracuse University, and Muriel A. Howard, Ph.D., president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The panel was sponsored by Black Enterprise and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Conference guests included women leaders from business, academia, education, government, nonprofits plus students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“This diverse group of leaders was a key audience for key messages about ETS,” said Michelle Peal, of the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.” Jhan was able to dispel some myths about standardized testing and describe some of our recent innovations while also emphasizing that ETS is a mission-driven organization.”

Also at the summit, Beverly Daniel Tatum, ETS Board member and president of Spelman College, received the 2015 Black Enterprise “Barbara Graves Legacy Award” for a 35-year career in higher education.