Laurie Harrison
Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation

National expert appointed co-director of Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation

Wed, 01/23/2013

LAWRENCE — A nationally recognized expert in K-12 assessment, accountability systems and performance standards joins the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas as its co-director. Marianne Perie joins Neal Kingston, current director and faculty member in the KU School of Education.

“Marianne Perie brings a national perspective that focuses on the interface between assessment and policy,” Kingston said. “She brings a multitude of assets in the field of K-12 assessment, accountability and performance standards, which will not only benefit CETE, but the hundreds of students, parents, educators and schools CETE staff work with in Kansas and across the country.”Marianne Perie

Perie has assisted many states in developing assessments and accountability systems and has created publications that have guided assessment and accountability leaders and policy makers.

“Dr. Perie is widely recognized for the quality of service she provides,” said Kristopher Kaase, president of The Institute for Evidence-based Reform. “The University of Kansas is fortunate to have someone of Dr. Perie’s experience and expertise.”

Perie comes to CETE after 6 1/2 years at the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment in Dover, N.H., where she consulted with many states about optimal design of assessment and accountability systems as well as setting performance standards.

“Marianne is a very nimble thinker,” said Melissa Fincher, associate superintendent for assessment and accountability at the Georgia Department of Education. “She understands what states are up against and how complicated it is to operationalize assessments and to get tests built and ready for students and school administrators. She has been able to come up with solutions for many states to some pretty thorny issues.”

Her expertise includes setting performance standards, and she has provided extensive technical advice on the matter to several states. Perie also has taught courses and writes extensively on standard setting.

“One of Marianne’s many strengths is the ability to synthesize research ideas across a number of topics and apply this synthesis to the issue at hand,” said Phoebe Winter, executive vice president for education policy at Pacific Metrics, a K-12, large-scale assessment company. “This results in creative and theoretically sound approaches to novel assessment issues.”

Perie also brings expertise in test validity evaluation and has served and continues to serve on several state technical advisory committees, providing expert advice and technical assistance. She has worked to develop validity arguments for alternate assessments, which are assessments given to students with disabilities.

She worked with Georgia and many other states in crafting a series of studies of states’ alternate assessment programs where she facilitated discussions across states to discover their commonalities and differences and what it all meant.

“With her guidance, this study of alternate assessments was a great opportunity for us to do some in-depth analysis and see our program's strengths and weaknesses,” Fincher said.

She has also provided several workshops on validity of alternate assessments to states through the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs and Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Perie also served as senior program administrator for three years with Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J., where she worked extensively on K-12 standard-setting planning, design and implementation. She also developed training programs to teach staff to run standard-setting workshops and taught graduate-level seminars on standard setting.

Perie received her doctorate in educational research, evaluation and measurement from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University.

CETE is a nationally recognized research center specializing in K-12 large-scale assessment and online test delivery systems. For more than 30 years, CETE has developed cutting-edge testing programs and technology tools. Through its partnership with the Kansas State Department of Education, CETE offers assessments to all 286 Kansas school districts. During the 2011-2012 school year, CETE administered 4.6 million test sessions online, and 99.8 percent of the Kansas general and modified assessments were administered by computer using CETE testing software.

Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here:
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@KU bschool 's KIP team includes @KU _SADP students in all-ages housing project. #KUworks
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.

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