Table Speech

Initiation Speech
A Brief Report on the Highlights of he Recent Council on Legislation Held on Chicago

November 24,2004

President of the Education Measurement Research Co. Ltd.
Mr. Junichi Takamura
Club President Mizuno

There are many kinds of tests such as at school or for obtaining official qualifications.

Looking back on the origins of examinations it seems that they existed when history began as a means of judging a person’s abilities. There is a record of a test in the Old Testament, and there was a system called ‘Kakyo’ to select government officials in the Chinese country of Shui in the 6th century.
It is said that tests started in Cambridge University in the 18th century while in America written graduation tests were introduced into high schools in 1845.
The means to measure a person’s ability fairly and objectively have always been an issue, and methods have become refined.

What is the environment for testing in Japan today?
In the postwar years, more than 50% of our students enter college, and a relative measurement represented by standard deviation has been the yardstick. It performed its job well when only a select group of students were able to enter college.

But today, where more than 90% of our students enter high school, and more than 50% college, voices have been raised for absolute evaluation and education according to each one’s needs, the system of relative measurement has changed to that of absolute evaluation, and new yardstick to replace that of standard deviation is required.

The time has come for us to seriously consider introducing the newly constructed scientific testing method which in America was started in the 1960’s and today is the standard. It is series of questions and answers based on a psychological measurement methodology (IRT) and uses a statistical approach.
From the view point of the form of examinations, we are changing from that of pencil and paper to that of computer testing. Due to the greatly enhanced speed of testing, computer adaptive testing, which was unthinkable 10 years ago, can now be used.

Compared with paper testing which required 200 questions and 2 hours, we can make do with 40 questions with 40 minutes required.

The computer has made available to us simulation tests which are particularly useful for medical examinations. Furthermore, examinations can be adapted for use by the blind or handicapped. Thus the importance of computers in this field will continue to grow.

In Japan today, the educational environment is changing with the times, and the form of tests are changing. But we must always not forget to consider the standpoint of examinee, and how we must be able to accommodate them.

Club President Mizuno

According to the manual, the Council is the legislative organ of Rotary International with the authority to revise the Constitution and Bylaws.
Past Governor Shohei Nakamura was our representative at the Council.

Enactments and Resolutions were deliberated, of which Resolutions are recommendations made by the body to the Board, and Enactments are legislative measures which will change the constitution and bylaws of Rotary International.
250 Enactments and 226 resolutions were voted on, and 50 of each were adopted, I will explain the most important issues to you

・Enactment 04-370
The per capita dues will be increased by 4 dollars a year for 3 years from 2006-07, making it 47 dollars.

・Enactment 04-467
The General Secretary will be the only officer of Rotary International receiving remuneration.

・Enactment 04-271
The term referring to gender will be removed from the second motto – ‘He profits most who serves the best’ will become ‘They profit most who serve the best’.

・Enactment 04-195
The Board will decide whether each District Conference will require the presence of a President’s Representative.

・Resolution 04-196
The District Conference will be at least one full day long for a maximum of 4 days. Rotary matters should be the topic for at least 6 hours of discussion or presentation.

・Resolution 04-219
The target for the long term plan should be as follows:
  Eradication of Polio
  Defining the crucial portions
    of the program
  Selecting the new corporate program
  Redefining administrative control
    structures and procedure
  Strengthening educational and
    training measures at every level
  Unifying and developing membership
    organization all over the world
  Heightening public image

Enactment 04-46 calls for allowing merger of Rotary Clubs. This was adopted as a Resolution in 2001.

Enactment 04-50 calls for the naming of President Elect
Article 9, Section 5(b) states: The President shall be elected as provided by the bylaws, not more than 2 years but not less than 18 months prior to the day taking office. The President shall serve as the President-Elect for year immediately preceding the year as President.

Furthermore the Dutch proposed a Resolution which was adopted, requesting the Board to consider humanitarian aid to victims of land mines as a prime objective.

The Special Committee for Land Mine Clearance headed by our member Yoshio Okazaki is obtaining good results in Cambodia. I look forward to having a Resolution on this issue adopted by our next District Conference.