I became interested in measurement and evaluation when I worked as a program evaluator for the legislature after getting my bachelor's degree in applied mathematics. After experiencing survey, statistical, and policy analysis work for a few years, I returned to graduate school to formally study educational research and program evaluation methods. As a doctoral student in the Research and Evaluation Methodology program at UCB, I was awarded an NSF/AERA evaluation internship, which provided me with the opportunity to conduct a formative evaluation of a national network of university mathematicians and mathematics educators. My dissertation topic was the impact of standards-based mathematics reform on Colorado classrooms and its dependence on local capacity within schools.
After completing my doctorate, I took a position as the lead psychometrician for the Colorado Department of Education and later was promoted to director of assessment responsible for the development and implementation of the Colorado student assessment system, including CSAP, the Colorado ACT, and Colorado NAEP. During this time, issues of measurement and program evaluation were of great interest to me because of the many school accountability measures being created from CSAP scores and it became apparent that research was needed about the validity of assessment scores for multiple purposes.
After gaining further large-scale assessment experience working with a national test development company, I have spent the last several years working with local school districts as an assessment and research director, and this work provided me with the opportunity to work directly with teachers on issues of classroom assessment and the appropriate use of all levels of student achievement data.
My work at University of Colorado Denver:
Along with my colleagues, I support the establishment of the Laboratory for Educational Assessment, Research, and InnovatioN (LEARN) and outreach to Colorado school districts and state educational organizations. The lab exists to advance a fundamental understanding and applied use of assessment, particularly in diverse and urban contexts, and focuses on improving the relationship between assessment, instruction, and learning. Our work includes activities related to conducting primary research, providing technical assistance to local education agencies, and supporting the development of graduate students to become leaders in research on assessment and evaluation.
My research interests:
- Valid uses of assessment results at micro (i.e., classroom) and macro (i.e., accountability) levels
- Development of technically sound formative and summative assessments
- Analytic approaches to educational program effectiveness and measuring student learning
I enjoy tennis, running, and playing the piano.
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