Project Partners

SIPS 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.

SIPS 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 to all 50 states and seven US territories. edCount staff have extensive experience assisting SEAs and LEAs with designing, developing, and evaluating their assessment systems and technical documentation; providing professional development; conducting external and ED reporting; and coordinating multi-state collaborative groups. edCount is a lead vendor on SCILLSS, an EAG project dedicated to science assessment development for local and large-scale assessment purposes. The American Education Research Association (AERA) recently recognized SCILLSS products as the first place winner of the AERA 2020 Division H’s Outstanding Publications Competition in Category 4: Assessment & Accountability. The award is a testament to the significant contributions that SCILLSS has made in developing assessment system evaluation protocols and an accompanying digital workbook.


Jeremy Heneger

Ellen Forte – Co-principal Investigator

Ellen Forte, Ph.D., is the CEO & Chief Scientist at edCount and has over two decades of experience conducting research, providing advice, and reporting on standards, assessments, and accountability, and assisting SEAs and LEAs in the successful interpretation and implementation of education policies. As co-principal investigator, she will provide oversight to all project tasks, including advisement for the involvement and contributions of the expert panel.

Erin Buchanan – Project Director

Erin Buchanan, M.A., is a Senior Associate with edCount and has extensive experience in project management. She served as the Deputy Project Director and Reporting Lead for the SCILLSS project, managing all project phases and assisting with the application of a principled-design approach. As project director, Ms. Buchanan will provide oversight to all project tasks, including leadership for the Management Team.

Kristina Harding – Deputy Project Director and State Liaison

Kristina Harding, M.A., is an Associate at edCount and has experience coordinating and managing project logistics. As project coordinator for the SCILLSS project, she contributed to the planning and managing of annual meetings, tracking employee time and other direct costs, ensuring high-quality project deliverables, and managing the administration of the pilot study.

Bill Herrera – Curriculum and Assessment Design Specialist

Bill Herrera, M.S., is a Senior Associate at edCount and has experience as senior project lead, assessment specialist, and science content specialist. Mr. Herrera will provide science content expertise across each of the elementary, middle, and high school grade bands to develop state and local assessment tools and resources.

Charlene Turner – Curriculum and Assessment Design Specialist

Charlene Turner, B.S., is a Senior Associate at edCount and has experience as senior project lead, assessment specialist, and science content specialist. Ms. Turner will provide science content expertise across each of the elementary, middle, and high school grade bands to develop state and local assessment tools and resources.

The Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI) at the University of Illinois-Chicago is an interdisciplinary research and study center founded in 2007 by Susan Goldman, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education in University of Illinois-Chicago’s College of Arts and Sciences, and James Pellegrino, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Education. LSRI is home to more than 130 staff, students, faculty, and researchers.


Jeremy Heneger

Jim Pellegrino – Co-principal Investigator

Jim Pellegrino, Ph.D., is Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Education and Founding Co-director of UIC’s Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI). He has served as P.I. or co-PI on multiple STEM education grants from NSF and IES as well as private foundations. As co-principal investigator and part of the management team, he will work directly with Dr. Forte in the development and design of all the project tasks.

Sania Zaidi – Curriculum and Assessment Design Specialist

Sania Zaidi, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor at LSRI. Her research interests are in the design and evaluation of learning environments and assessment interventions in K-12 science. Dr. Zaidi’s research focuses particularly on technology-based formative assessments in science. She has worked on designing NGSS-aligned formative assessments for elementary and middle school students. She has also worked with the College Board in the redesign of the Advanced Placement Biology assessments for high school students. At LSRI, she is part of the Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) group and works on projects focused on both the middle and the upper elementary grade bands. On the NGSA projects, Dr. Zaidi co-leads the development of assessment tasks, the design of rubrics for research use and practitioner use, and conducts classroom-based research on the use of the designed assessment tasks. She works closely with researchers and teachers in the design of the assessment products. Dr. Zaidi is also part of the team that is tasked with designing large-scale assessments for the state of Illinois, and she leads the middle school teams in the design of these assessments.

Brian Gane – Curriculum and Assessment Design Specialist

Brian Gane, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor at LSRI. His primary research interests center around the research and development of learning environments, including the design of assessments, instruction, and curriculum within those learning environments. In particular, he focuses on learning in science and engineering disciplines.

Donald J. Wink – Curriculum and Assessment Design Specialist

Donald J. Wink, Ph.D., is a Professor of Chemistry and faculty member at LSRI. His work focuses on introductory and general education courses for pre-service elementary education majors and laboratory curricula. This includes the introduction of evidence-centered design as a basis for the development and study of learning in the general chemistry laboratory. In addition, he has served as co-PI on several NSF-funded STEM projects.

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 harnesses a diversity of expertise from multiple research centers to meet the unique needs of each client. 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.


Jeremy Heneger

Howard Everson – Principled-Design Specialist

Howard Everson, Ph.D., is a Senior Principal Education Researcher in SRI International’s Education Division. He is also a Professor of Psychology at the Graduate School, City University of New York. Dr. Everson’s research focuses on the intersection of cognition, technology, and assessment. He has contributed to developments in educational psychology, psychometrics, quantitative methods, and program evaluation. Dr. Everson is currently an elected member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Measurement in Education.

Daisy Rutstein – Principled-Design Specialist

Daisy Rutstein, Ph.D., is a Principal Education Researcher in SRI International’s Education Division, where she leads the assessment group. Dr. Rutstein’s work focuses on the application of Evidence-Centered Design to develop assessments, particularly in the area of hard to measure constructs. Dr. Rutstein has experience leading science assessment development projects and is currently co-PI on two NGSS-aligned assessment evaluation projects.

The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc. (The Center for Assessment) is a Dover, NH based not-for-profit (501(c)(3)) corporation. Founded in 1998, the Center’s mission is to improve the educational achievement of students by promoting improved practices in educational assessment and accountability. The Center for Assessment does this by providing services directly to states, school districts, and partner organizations support state and district assessment and accountability systems. The Center pursues the dissemination of best practices through their annual conference, through extensive work with state TACs, through work with organizations that do similar research, development, and dissemination, and through numerous publications and presentations at professional conferences.


Jeremy Heneger

Scott Marion – Measurement Specialist

Scott Marion, Ph.D., is the President and Executive Director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment. He is a national leader in designing innovative assessment systems to support instructional and accountability uses and is working to better conceptualize and implement high-quality balanced systems of assessment and accountability. Dr. Marion coordinates and/or serves on several state and district Technical Advisory Committees (TAC) and has served on multiple National Research Council (NRC) committees to support designs for next generation science assessments. He has published dozens of articles, chapters, and technical reports and is a co-author of the validity chapter of the forthcoming Educational Measurement, 5th Edition.

Nathan Dadey – Measurement Specialist

Nathan Dadey, Ph.D., is an associate at the Center for Assessment and is interested in the design, scaling, and use of educational assessments. He aims to produce methodological and applied work that contributes to improved understanding and use of assessment results in policy contexts. Dr. Dadey has been focusing recently on the measurement of the NGSS and has supported multiple states in developing conceptualizations of their NGSS statewide systems of assessments.

William Lorié – Measurement Specialist

William Lorié, Ph.D., is a senior associate at the Center for Assessment and has held senior scientist and business development positions at McGraw-Hill and ETS. Dr. Lorié led education research and evaluation projects at Questar, formulating a framework for scoring technology-enhanced test items His current work examines information trade-offs between global scores and subscores, the effects of different approaches to scoring technology-enhanced items, and the formulation of score comparability within a unified framework.

Creative Measurement Solutions, LLC, was founded by Dr. Daniel Lewis and is dedicated to resolving assessment challenges with partners in the industry. They provide services in assessment design and support for technical foundations and score report design. Dr. Lewis has been responsible for the design, technical foundations, and operational work associated with numerous assessment programs. Working with state departments of education, Dr. Lewis supported state summative assessment programs in meeting their needs and the accountability requirements associated with peer review.


Jeremy Heneger

Daniel Lewis – Lead Psychometrician

Daniel Lewis, Ph.D., is Founder & Chief Scientist at Creative Measurement Solutions LLC. Dr. Lewis co-developed the widely-used Bookmark Standard Setting Procedure and the Embedded Standard Setting method. Daniel established Creative Measurement Solutions to 1) advance the theory and practice of Embedded Standard Setting as a logical extension of Principled Assessment Design and 2) support the development of efficient, elegant, enduring, and innovative solutions that improve assessment. Dr. Lewis previously served as Chief Research Advisor at CTB/McGraw-Hill and Principal Research Scientist at ACT.

Garrett Consulting, LLC, specializes in the evaluation of educational and professional development initiatives. Garrett Consulting has evaluated grants and contracts from numerous ED Offices, nine state governments, private foundations, and other funding sources. Garrett Consulting provides scientifically sound evaluation findings in an easy to use, practical manner for the purpose of program improvement, assessing program impact, and assuring accountability of state and federal funds.


Brent Garrett – Lead External Evaluator

Brent Garrett, Ph.D., is President of Garrett Consulting, LLC. Dr. Garrett has over 20 years of experience in evaluation and research, evaluating grants from numerous U.S. Department of Education Offices, state governments, private foundations, and other funding sources. Dr. Garrett will serve as lead external evaluator for the project and directly support external evaluation reporting and dissemination.

Matthew Courser – External Evaluator

Matthew Courser, Ph.D., is an evaluation specialist who specializes in evaluating education, professional development, and other programs designed to improve the health and well-being of families and communities. Key areas of expertise include survey design, survey sampling, data collection methodology, performance measurement, and working with Institutional Review Boards. Dr. Courser will work closely with Dr. Garrett to support external evaluation and reporting activities.