Key Personnel

EVEA is helmed by a leadership team with decades of experience among them conducting research, providing education leadership, managing grants and projects, and producing high quality products to help all students achieve academic success

These leaders will oversee EVEA’s activities to ensure that project outputs are theoretically sound, technically rigorous, and aligned with project targets and intentions

SENIOR ADVISOR AND STATE LEAD: Joe Willhoft, Ph.D, is the Assistant Superintendent for Assessment and Student Information for the Washington Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction. In addition to his responsibilities for Washington’s statewide student testing program and student information systems, he is presently a member of the EIMAC Assessment Task Force and chairman of the NAEP Policy Task Force for the National Assessment Governing Board. As the Senior Advisor and State Lead for EVEA, and will ensure that the project is implemented in concert with the needs of Washington and the other participating states.

CO PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Ellen Forte, Ph.D, is the President and founder of edCount, LLC and has nearly two decades’ experience conducting research; providing advice and reporting on standards, assessments, and accountability; and assisting state and local education agencies in the successful interpretation and implementation of education policies. She currently holds seats on the assessment Technical Advisory Committees for four states and Puerto Rico, is Principal Investigator for two other ongoing validity studies, both funded by grants through the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, and is the chief policy advisor to the National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University on its implementation of standards, assessments, and accountability mechanisms as required under the 2008 Education of the Deaf Act. As Co-Principal Investigator she provides oversight to all the activities of this project, including the Management Team.

CO PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Marianne Perie, Ph.D, is a Senior Associate at the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (NCIEA-Center for Assessment), whose work centers on standard setting, reporting, accountability, technical documentation, and validity studies. She has conducted standard-setting studies in over sixteen states, districts, and foreign countries and is currently providing technical assistance to a group of states developing and evaluating a validity argument for their alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards. As Co-Principal Investigator and part of the Management Team, she provides coordination and leadership to the Expert Panel.

CO PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Alison Bailey, Ph.D, is Professor in the Division of Psychological Studies in Education of the Department of Education, University of California, Los Angeles, as well as faculty associate researcher at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST). Dr. Bailey’s work focuses on language, literacy and assessment, specifically the academic English language development of second-language learners, and English language assessment. She serves on the ELD assessment technical advisory board to the California Department of Education, and has authored numerous books and articles, including The Language Demands of School: Putting Academic English to the Test, (Yale University Press, 2007). As Co-Principal Investigator and a member of the Management Team, she provides direct oversight to the research partners.

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Elizabeth Towles-Reeves, Ph.D, is an expert in the field of special needs students and alternate assessment, and served as project coordinator for the University of Kentucky’s National Alternate Assessment Center for 5 years, overseeing projects funded by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. Her work at NAAC included serving as research coordinator for a Validity GSEG, which engaged a five-state consortium in studies to test and strengthen the validity of the participating states’ alternate assessment systems. As the Project Director, Dr. Towles-Reeves will provide direct oversight to the Administration and Partnerships within the proposal.

DEPUTY PROJECT DIRECTOR: Sara Waring, Ph.D, is an expert in the field of English as a Second Language (ESL). In the past, she was the State Director of Title III at the South Dakota Department of Education and has served the Sioux Falls Public School District in various capacities, including as the Director of Federal Programs and Grants Management, as the district-level coordinator of a discretionary grant teacher training program for professional development for ESL and mainstream teachers, and as an ESL teacher at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. As the Deputy Project Director, Dr. Waring will coordinate the research partners in conjunction with Dr. Bailey. Together, these leaders will direct the Management Team, the Expert Panel, and the research partners throughout the course of the project.

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