April 22, 1916-October 1, 2001

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You are invited to a

Remembrance of Lee J. Cronbach


Monday, November 5, 2001

Stanford University School of Education, Cubberley Library

(2nd floor of Cubberley building)


Refreshments 5:00 p.m.

Remembrances 5:30 p.m.

Lee J. Cronbach, Vida Jacks Professor of Education Emeritus, died of congestive heart failure on October 1 at age 85. An internationally recognized emeritus on the Stanford School of Education faculty, he will be greatly missed by the SUSE community.

During a career that spanned five decades, including 16 years at Stanford as a professor of education, Cronbach developed the most frequently used measure of the reliability of a psychological or educational test, known as "Cronbach`s alpha." This formula measures the reliability of a test when it is taken only once. At the time of his death, he was working on a paper commemorating the 50th anniversary of the publication of the alpha paper. The initial work on the alpha led to his developing a theory of test reliability, "Generalizability Theory," a comprehensive statistical model for identifying sources of measurement error. Cronbach also did pathbreaking work on the interpretation of test scores, including a seminal paper, "Construct Validity in Psychological Tests."

According to Rich Shavelson, professor of education and former dean, "Lee was highly respected and he was a towering intellect who seemed to be ahead of everything." Professor Ingram Olkin added, "He was one of the early, early researchers to recognize that evaluation is an important part of education."

Cronbach passed away at his home in Palo Alto with his daughter, Janet, at his bedside. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and his children, Janet, Bob, and Joyce. Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (1-888-588-2372 ext 1).


Please join us in honoring the life and work of Lee.


Stanford University School of Education, 485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305 (650) 723-2109