The SCILLSS project brings together a diverse group of states, researchers, consultants, technical experts, and evaluators. Through virtual and in-person meetings and interactive online workspaces, we promote consistent communication, accessibility, and universal understanding of project activities, progress, and goals for all SCILLSS partners.
SCILLSS focuses on a consortium of three states: Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming. These state partners work in collaboration with project partners to identify areas of need in their science assessment systems and benefit from both overarching project developments as well as state-specific Theories of Action (ToA) and validity frameworks. Through their participation in this project, state partners gain greater clarity and capacity to interpret and utilize science assessments to produce information that is meaningful to all stakeholders. State partner participation is also an important service to other states, as SCILLSS resources and tools are meant to be accessible and generalizable to any state.
SCILLSS state partners include:
|Montana Office of
For additional information related to each state’s current science assessment, please follow the links below:
SCILLSS project partners provide the expertise and management capacity to accomplish the technical, research, evaluation, analysis, and reporting tasks for this project. Project partners provide diversity in staff, experience, and perspective, and include a woman-owned small business and a not-for-profit organization.
SCILLSS Project Partners include:
edCount, LLC is a federally-registered woman-owned small business and a certified Woman-owned Business Enterprise. Since its founding in 2003, edCount has provided direct or advisory services in K-12 assessment to all 50 states and seven US territories. edCount staff members have extensive, unbiased experience assisting SEAs and LEAs with the evaluation of their assessment systems and their technical documentation; the establishment of processes and procedures for evaluating assessment systems; the provision of professional development; external and ED reporting; and the coordination of multi-state collaborative work groups. edCount has designed and conducted dozens of studies to evaluate the validity and alignment of assessment systems, as required by ESSA. These studies have involved the content, internal structure, external relationship, response process, and consequential sources of validity evidence.
ACS Ventures, LLC (ACS) is an assessment consultation services organization that focuses on design, quality assurance, and operational support for programs in education (e.g., PK-12, admissions, adult education, language testing), and credentialing (e.g., licensure, certification, registration, and assessment-based certificates). This work includes psychometric consultation; program design consultation; evaluation and auditing programs; validation framework development; and test development and validation projects (e.g., practice/job analysis, blueprint development, item development, item and form analysis, forms assembly, standard setting and equating, security analysis) for small- and large-scale testing programs of national and international scope. ACS’s staff members have designed and implemented a number of psychometric evaluations of educational and credentialing testing programs for national and state level programs.
The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) is a 501(c)3 independent nonprofit organization founded in 1974. For over 30 years, PIRE has been a leading private, not-for-profit research institute conducting studies in the areas of school-based interventions, child development, public health, substance abuse prevention, and related problems. PIRE has a Federal-wide Assurance (#FWA00003078) on file with OHRP (Office for Human Research Protections), which formalizes the institution’s commitment to protecting human subjects. PIRE is committed to cultural competence and diversity in staffing, in designing research and in planning technical assistance. PIRE researchers and program directors publish more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles annually.
SRI International is a research institute conducting client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, foundations, and other organizations for 66 years. SRI Education is a leader in providing professional development for teachers and designing formative and summative assessments using evidence-centered design, universal design for learning, and state-of-the-art assessment models aligned to Common Core standards. SRI assessment experts are experienced in generating high quality assessments and scoring rubrics, documenting the development processes, and conducting validation studies to support accurate decisions. This work is accomplished in partnership with government and educational agencies, foundations, commercial firms and international clients around the world.
To ensure the overall quality of SCILLSS processes and deliverables, a team of expert panelists convene at key points throughout the project to articulate feedback, commendations, and recommendations for project and state partners. Project leadership matches panelists’ experience and expertise to the development of specific deliverables to yield informed, active, and formative feedback from panelists that can be used to improve project outputs.
The SCILLSS expert panel includes:
|Jill Wertheim, Ph.D., is a research associate at Stanford University’s Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE). Dr. Wertheim has ten years of experience in research, development, and evaluation of earth science education curricula, assessments, standards, and programs. At SCALE, Dr. Wertheim has focused on examining how performance assessments can be used to measure students’ reasoning with evidence and to model the vision of science learning from A Framework for K-12 Science Education.|
|Kristen Huff, Ph.D., currently serves as Vice President of Assessment and Research at Curriculum Associates. She is a member of the board of directors for the National Council of Measurement in Education and serves as associate editor for Applied Measurement in Education. Dr. Huff has nearly two decades of experience in standards-aligned assessment design, evaluation, educational measurement, and psychometric research.|
|Suzanne Lane, Ph.D., is a professor in the Research Methodology Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She has had several articles published in academic journals such as the Journal of Educational Measurement, Applied Measurement in Education, and Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. Her primary areas of expertise include educational psychology, educational measurement and testing, technical and validity issues related to large scale assessment programs, and the effectiveness of education and accountability programs.|
|Richard Lesh, Ph.D., is a professor of Learning Sciences, Cognitive Science, and Mathematics Education at Indiana University Bloomington. He is also affiliated with the Caput Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Dr. Lesh has published numerous journal articles and book chapters and his research centers around assessment design in science and mathematics education, and computer-based curriculum development.|
|Mark Lyford, Ph.D., is a professor and the Director of the Life Sciences Program at the University of WY, as well as Special Assistant for Assessment and Accreditation for the Office of Academic Affairs. His main area of expertise is science education; specifically, he researches the impact of various pedagogical, curricular, and assessment practices on student learning. Dr. Lyford’s current research projects focus on institutional models for scientific literacy, and incorporating ‘desirable difficulties’ into classroom pedagogy.|
|Ric Luecht, Ph.D., is a professor of Educational Research Methodology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as well as a Senior Research Scientist with the Center for Assessment Research and Technology. Dr. Luecht specializes in psychometrics, item response theory, item design and analysis, test scoring, assessment engineering, computer-based testing technologies and systems design, automated test assembly, computerized-adaptive testing, and multistage testing.|
|Paul Nichols, Ph.D., currently serves as Senior Director and Distinguished Research Scientist at ACT, Inc. His work focuses on integrating recent findings in learning science, assessment, and measurement, and technological innovations with applied studies and assessment design across the ACT assessments. Dr. Nichols applies his expertise across several areas of assessment and learning research to support innovative assessment development and implementation, and leads the creation of interpretive and use arguments as well as the evaluation of validity arguments.|
|Pamela Paek, Ph.D., is a researcher specializing in educational assessment, educational policy, and mathematics education at ACT, Inc. She has published several reports, journal articles, and book chapters over the course of her career. Her areas of expertise include educational assessment and measurement, mathematics education, research methods, evaluation research, psychometrics, student achievement, metacognition, quantitative methodology, and professional development.|
|Jim Pellegrino, Ph.D., currently serves as co-director of Learning Sciences Research Institute and Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has authored or co-authored over 270 journal articles, books, or book chapters in the fields of cognition, instruction, and assessment, and has supervised many large-scale research and development projects. His areas of expertise include cognitive science, psychometrics, educational technology, instructional practice, and educational policy.|
|David Pugalee, Ph.D., is a professor in the College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and serves as the Director of the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education. His primary areas of expertise include mathematics and science education, curriculum development, and professional development. Dr. Pugalee has 34 years of experience as an educator, and has served as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator for several professional development projects.|
SCILLSS key personnel represent an essential combination of expertise in principled-design, measurement, assessment literacy, and classroom practices to support implementation of the project. These team members provide leadership and technical expertise to project activities to ensure that SCILLSS outputs are research-based, theoretically sound, and aligned with standards, state needs, and the SCILLSS Theory of Action.
The SCILLSS key personnel include: