Expert Panelists

To assist the EVEA partners in their efforts to develop arguments and instruments, a team of Expert Panelists convenes periodically to review project progress and outputs and provide guidance. Our team of experts comprises some of the nation’s pre-eminent authorities in the fields of assessment, validity theory, and second language acquisition. As these fields of educational focus do not often interact or overlap, the sheer convergence of these authorities, and the potential for cross-pollination among them, is itself another exciting outcome of this project.

The EVEA Expert Panel includes the following members:

Jamal Abedi, Ph.D., is a Professor at the School of Education of University of California, Davis and a research partner at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). Abedi's research interests include studies in the area of psychometrics and test and scale development focusing on the validity of assessment and accommodation for English language learners (ELL) and research on the opportunity to learn for ELLs. Dr. Abedi has developed a culture-free instrument for measuring creativity, which has become translated into a number of languages and administered in several countries.

Derek Briggs, Ph.D., is chair of the Research and Evaluation Methodology Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also serves as an associate professor of quantitative methods and policy analysis. Dr. Briggs’ research agenda focuses upon building sound methodological approaches for the valid measurement and evaluation of growth in student achievement. Examples of his research interests in the area of educational measurement include (1) characterizing the gap between validity theory and practice in the context of high-stakes standardized testing, and (2) developing and applying psychometric models to assess learning progressions.

Frances A. Butler, Ph.D., is an Independent Educational Consultant in Language Assessment. Previously, Dr. Butler was a Senior Research Associate and Language Testing Specialist for 15 years at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. Her most recent research efforts have focused on the articulation of Academic English for broad application—curriculum, assessment, and professional development—in school settings. Known for her research in language testing, she has consulted on and directed language testing projects for such diverse organizations as the Los Angeles Unified School District, the California Department of Education, the Educational Testing Service, the Egyptian Ministry of Education, and the Kayenta Unified School District on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.

Laurene Christensen, Ph.D., is a Research Associate at the National Center on Educational Outcomes. In this position, she works with states to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and English language learners, particularly in the area of assessment accommodations. Recent projects at NCEO have involved analyzing issues that have emerged from the federal standards and assessments peer review. Dr. Christensen has expertise in large-scale assessments, school accountability, English language learners, language acquisition, research design, and transition/postsecondary issues. Dr. Christensen is the author of a number of publications on accommodations for students with disabilities. She has also written and published materials on assessment issues for English language learners, both with and without disabilities.

Charles DePascale, Ph.D., is a Senior Associate with the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, which provides consulting services to help states and districts foster higher student achievement through improved practices in educational assessment and accountability. Previously he has served as principal psychometrician for the student assessment unit of the Massachusetts Department of Education; his work in recent years has focused on the design and use of large-scale assessments, and providing technical assistance to multi-state collaborative programs such as the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) and the ADP Algebra II Test consortium.

Scott Marion, Ph.D., is the Vice President of the National Center for the Improvement in Educational Assessment, Inc. Dr. Marion’s current projects include evaluating the technical quality of state alternate assessment systems, exploring the instructional usefulness of interim assessment approaches, and helping states design valid accountability systems. He also serves on the U.S. Department of Education’s National Technical Advisory Committee and was previously the Director of Assessment and Accountability for the Wyoming Department of Education, where he was responsible for overseeing the Wyoming Comprehensive Assessment System.

Theodora Predaris is an ESL specialist with over 30 years experience in the field. Ms. Predaris’ past work includes seven years at the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA; formerly NCBE), and she has spent the past two decades in the Fairfax County Public Schools System, for which she has served as Director of ESOL services since 2004.

Katherine Ryan, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign since 1999. Dr. Ryan specializes in educational evaluation and the intersection of educational accountability issues and high stakes assessment; her work has examined both evaluative capacity building and monitoring issues involved in test-based educational accountability.

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