The Center for Assessment, Design, Research and Evaluation based in the University of Colorado Boulder's School of Education, serves as a central resource where expertise in evaluation, research and assessment design can be located and engaged.  The CADRE team collaborates with university departments, state agencies, districts, schools and other organizations to investigate the effects of programs and interventions on student learning and to improve upon assessment practices and design. Our team consists of core staff members, faculty partners and doctoral researchers. We also collaborate with faculty affiliates.

To learn more about our work, please contact us at

If you are interested in working with our team, please go to the Working with CADRE page.


Center Staff


Jessica Alzen

Research Associate
Jessica Alzen is a Research Associate at CADRE. Her research focuses primarily on education evaluation in a variety of contexts including secondary and post-secondary STEM disciplines, higher education intervention programs, and teacher professional development. Jessica partners with schools, districts, and other education organizations to consider program efficacy in practical and contextual ways. She focuses on using sound methodology conveyed in clear ways to help partners make the best decisions for...

Derek Briggs

CADRE Director • Professor
Research & Evaluation Methodology
Derek Briggs is a Professor of the Research and Evaluation Methodology program. He is also the director of the Center for Assessment Design Research and Evaluation (CADRE) . Dr. Briggs’s research agenda focuses upon building sound methodological approaches for the measurement and evaluation of growth in student learning. His daily agenda is to challenge conventional wisdom and methodological chicanery as they manifest themselves in educational research, policy and practice. As...

Kimberly Cho

Professional Research Assistant/Project Manager
Kim joined CADRE in 2018 as a Research Assistant, managing strategy and operations for CADRE projects in partnership with school districts and education organizations. Prior to coming to CU Boulder, she spent the last ten years supporting new teacher development in New York City and Connecticut. She holds a BA in Religious Studies from Kenyon College and an MA in International Education Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she...

Elena Diaz-Bilello

CADRE Associate Director • Faculty Affiliate, Research & Evaluation Methodology (REM)
Elena Diaz-Bilello is the Associate Director at CADRE and collaborates with state agencies, school districts, and educational organizations to develop practical and sound approaches for addressing assessment and educational policy challenges. She draws on her background in measurement, evaluation and policy to help design, implement and evaluate educational reforms and initiatives, and to develop comprehensive assessment strategies to foster deeper learning for all students. Prior to joining CADRE in 2015,...
ben shear

Benjamin Shear

CADRE Faculty Partner • Assistant Professor
Research & Evaluation Methodology
Benjamin Shear is an assistant professor in the Research and Evaluation Methodology program in January 2017. His primary research interests address topics in psychometrics and applied statistics, including validity theory, differential item functioning, and the application of diagnostic classification models. His work aims to inform our perspectives about test score meaning and use for research and accountability purposes, and to help answer questions such as, “what do test scores measure,...

Lorrie Shepard

CADRE Faculty Partner • Distinguished Professor and Dean Emerita
Research & Evaluation Methodology
Lorrie A. Shepard, PhD is University Distinguished Professor and Dean Emerita of the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on psychometrics and the use and misuse of tests in educational settings. Her technical work has contributed to validity theory, standard setting, and statistical models for detecting test bias. Her research studies on test use have addressed the identification of learning disabilities, readiness screening for...

Faculty Affiliates


Mimi Engel

Associate Professor • Program Chair
Research & Evaluation Methodology
Mimi Engel is an associate professor in the Research and Evaluation Methodology (REM) program in the CU-Boulder School of Education. Through her research Dr. Engel aims to contribute to our understanding of how policies and programs affect children’s developmental outcomes and opportunities to learn. Her interest in studying how schools and other contexts influence students is informed by her training in human development and social policy and social work. Spanning...
Erin Furtak

Erin Furtak

Professor • Associate Dean of Faculty
Science Education
Erin Marie Furtak is Associate Professor of Education specializing in Science Education. Dr. Furtak's research grew out of her own experiences as a public high school teacher, in which she struggled to enact science teaching reforms in her own classroom. Her work focuses on how to support secondary science teachers in improving their everyday formative assessment practices. With the support of a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation, Dr...

Valerie Otero

Professor and Program co-chair
Science Education
Valerie Otero is professor of science education. Dr. Otero’s research explores the dynamic nature of the learning environment and how it influences (and is influenced by) the evolution of students’ ideas. She also studies prospective and practicing teachers’ conceptions of students’ prior knowledge, and teachers’ conceptions of the use of students’ prior knowledge for teaching and learning. Her teaching interests are in the areas of elementary science methods, the nature...
Bill Penuel

William Penuel

Learning Sciences & Human Development
Bill Penuel is Professor of Educational Psychology & Learning Sciences. He joined the faculty of the School of Education in 2011. Professor Penuel began his career in the field of youth development, developing expertise in program development and evaluation. In his doctoral and early career research, he developed a framework that integrated traditional psychosocial perspectives on identity formation with Vygotskian theories of development. As Director of Evaluation Research at the...
David Webb

David Webb

Associate Professor and Program Co-chair
Math Education
David Webb is Associate Professor of Mathematics Education and the Executive Director of Freudenthal Institute USA , an international research collaborative for mathematics education. Dr. Webb's research interests are in the areas of the preparation of mathematics teachers, classroom assessment, and the design of professional development activities. Recent research projects have focused on studies of teacher change in classroom assessment, the impact of reform curricula on student learning and achievement,...

Graduate Research Assistants

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Amy Burkhardt

Graduate Research Assistant
Research & Evaluation Methodology
Amy Burkhardt is a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. She has a B.A. in Psychology, and her background consists of experience in survey development, data analysis, IQ test administration, and automated scoring for both formative and summative assessments. She is interested in measuring learning and problem solving skills.
Kaitlin Mork

Kaitlin Mork

Graduate Research Assistant
Research & Evaluation Methodology
Kaitlin Mork is a Ph.D. student in the Research and Evaluation Methodology Program at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. She received a Bachelor of Individualized Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with concentrations in Statistics, Psychology, and Educational Psychology. Her research interests include assessment and educational measurement.

Medjy Pierre-Louis

Graduate Research Assistant
Research & Evaluation Methodology
Medjy Pierre-Louis is a PhD student in the Reseach and Evaluation Methodology program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She specializes in international educational assessments and brings over 5 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research in international educational development. Medjy holds a bachelors degree in International Relations, Public Administration, and Social Science Education from Florida International University as well as a masters degree in International Education Policy from the...

Sandy Student

Graduate Research Assistant
Research & Evaluation Methodology
Sandy Student is a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and Computer Science from Brown University, and was a software engineer at an education nonprofit before joining the REM program. He is interested in measurement on a large scale, particularly where it interacts with policy.

Sarah Wellberg

Research & Evaluation Methodology
Sarah Wellberg is a Ph.D. student in the Research and Evaluation Methodology Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder School of Education. She received both a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She taught mathematics for eight years before beginning her Ph.D. Her main areas of interest are educational measurement and assessment, with an emphasis on assessing mathematical problem solving and...