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 a psychometrician, Dr. Briggs works with states and other entities to provide technical advice on the design and use of large-scale student assessments. He has a special interest in the use of learning progressions as a method for facilitating student-level inferences about growth, and helping to bridge the use of test scores for formative and summative purposes. Other interests include the use and analysis of statistical models to support causal inferences about the effects of educational interventions on student achievement.

Dr. Briggs teaches graduate level courses on quantitative research methodology with a focus on psychometrics. These include Quantitative Methods in Educational Research I (EDUC 8230), Measurement in Survey Research (EDUC 8710), Advanced Topics in Measurement (EDUC 8720) and Categorical Data Analysis (EDUC 7396).

Dr. Briggs’s investigations into the relationship between developmental (i.e., vertical) score scales and inferences about student growth and teacher/school value-added were recognized with an award by the National Council for Measurement in Education and Provost’s Achievement Award at the University of Colorado. He is widely recognized for his evaluations of the effects of test preparation on college admissions exam performance.

Some of his notable publications include “Measuring growth with vertical scales” and “Generalizability in item response modeling” (Journal of Educational Measurement); “The gains from vertical scaling” (Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics); “Due diligence and the evaluation of teachers” (NEPC Report); “Preparation for college admissions exams” (Report Commissioned by the National Association of College Admissions Counselors); “The impact of vertical scaling decisions on growth interpretations” (Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice); “Diagnostic Assessment with Ordered Multiple-Choice Items,” (Educational Assessment); “Meta-Analysis: A Case Study,” Evaluation Review.

Dr. Briggs is the past editor of the journal Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice and current President of the National Council for Measurement in Education. He is also a member of the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, and the Psychometric Society.


PhD Education, University of California, Berkeley, 2002
MA Education, University of California, Berkeley, 1998
BA Economics, Carleton College, 1993