Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hello from Christine Burnham, Ph.D.

Hello everyone,

My name is Christine and I am a Senior Research Associate at Assessment Technology, Inc. (ATI). I have been focused on the intersection of research and education for some time. As an undergraduate at William Smith College in New York State I earned teaching certification in both elementary and special education. The call to conduct research was strong in me, though, and after doing some masters work at Hunter College I came to the University of Arizona where I earned my Ph.D. in cognitive psychology. Upon graduation, I sought a position in which my work would directly benefit teachers and their students. I consider myself lucky to have found my position at ATI where I can do just that.

I’ve been with ATI for almost four years. I spend much of my time analyzing student performance on benchmark assessments and aligning the assessments to high stakes statewide assessments. It’s my job to make sure that the benchmark assessments do a good job of helping teachers decide which students need intervention efforts and in which specific concepts. I hope that my efforts are helping students who need extra help to get it early in the year so that they will be more likely to pass the statewide assessment at the end of the year.

We continually conduct research to find better ways of helping teachers and administrators to use data to guide instruction and remediation. The teacher in me loves to explain data to administrators and teachers so that they can use it more effectively, and to design better, more useful, and more self-explanatory reports so that teachers always have the information they need right at their fingertips.

I hope that this blog will become a thriving conversation among teachers, administrators, ATI, and other researchers in the field so we can all figure out what works, what doesn’t, what is needed, and how to best go about improving education.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hello and Welcome to the Town Hall Blog

I’m John Bergan, President of Assessment Technology Incorporated. John, whom you have already met, is also John Bergan. I’m John Richard and he is John Robert. To keep life simple, I go by Jack. My degrees are all from Michigan schools. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kalamazoo College, a Master of Arts from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Following graduation, I pursued an academic career. I started my career at Kansas University and then moved to the University of Arizona, where I was a Professor of Educational Psychology for many years. My research interests include measurement, learning, development, and cognition.

In 1986 I had the good fortune to be able to found our company, Assessment Technology Incorporated. The mission of the company is to create technology to promote learning. The guiding force supporting this mission is a continuing learning-focused program of research and technology development. As John has indicated, we decided to introduce blogs to further communication regarding issues affecting learning in our rapidly changing world. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing ideas with you in these exciting and challenging times.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hello from John Bergan Ph.D.

Greetings to all,

I am the Vice President of Research and Development for Assessment Technology Inc (ATI). I completed my graduate work in Psychology from the University of Arizona. I have an extensive background in research with an emphasis on applying empirical findings to practice where they can make a difference.

I have worked for ATI for the last 12 years. The main focus of this work has been the design and development of the Galileo system. Galileo is an online system designed to provide the data and the tools that will support educator's efforts to further children's achievement. This work has been informed in no small way by the contributions of both the research community and those who are "in the trenches" every day teaching.

The intent of these blogs is to further the communication between all of us who spend our days trying to make things better for children. I look forward to meeting you all.