The Center for Standards, Assessment, and Accountability (CSAA) at WestEd supports educators in the development and use of rigorous standards and student-focused assessment and accountability practices. Our work impacts students of all ages and learning paths, including early childhood, K-12, postsecondary, and career technical education.
We partner with clients nationwide, providing policy guidance, content expertise, and solutions that are responsive to local contexts. CSAA supports student-focused accountability systems that are customized and research-based to deliver fair and valid measurements of student performance, and we provide guidance for educators and policymakers on making the best use of results. Our work puts better student outcomes at the center of everything we do.
Student-Focused Accountability System: Improve Learning Outcomes for Every Student
Curriculum & Instruction
Aligned curriculum, instruction, and assessment collect and elicit evidence and inform each other to provide a valid and accurate measure of student learning.
Standards-aligned assessments that are valid, reliable, and fair ensure meaningful and efficient measurement of what students know and can do and provide actionable data supporting teaching and learning.
Are the foundation for student learning and classroom instruction. Coherence between standards, curriculum, and instruction supports relevant and fair learning opportunities for all students.
Building on the nationally recognized work of the Center on Standards & Assessment Implementation (CSAI), the newly expanded Center on Standards, Assessment, and Accountability (CSAA) continues to provide high-quality resources. Now expertise gained after 14 years of delivering technical assistance for states is coupled with WestEd services designed to improve teaching and learning and drive informed decision making about standards, assessment, and accountability at the federal, state, and local levels.
Who We Are and What We Do
We are dedicated to providing high-quality professional learning and technical assistance, research, tools, and other resources to inform decisions about standards, assessment, and accountability at multiple levels. Discover our expertise.
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Local Education Agencies
State Education Agencies
Andrew Latham is the Director of WestEd’s Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services (SAAS) program. For more than two decades, he has worked closely with national organizations, states, schools, and districts to develop innovative solutions for assessing and setting standards for students and teachers. A former English and mathematics teacher, Latham has spent his entire career in education and assessment, focusing on ways to enhance teacher quality and improve student learning. Read more about Andrew Latham.
Deb Sigman is the Interim Program Director for the Comprehensive School Assistance Program (CSAP) at WestEd. CSAP collaborates with state, regional, and local education agencies to develop and support a culture of learning in which all students acquire 21st century learning skills. Sigman focuses on the development and delivery of technical assistance for the integration of curriculum, assessment, and instruction – with an emphasis on training educators in the appropriate and constructive use of assessment results. She is a state and national education leader focusing on connecting assessments with enhanced student learning. Read more about Deb Sigman.
Patricia Armstrong is the Director of Test Development in WestEd’s Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services (SAAS) program. She directs the development of assessment services and products for both general education and special populations. Her commitment to improving student learning is shown throughout her career in previous leadership roles developing customized mathematics standards, private educational consulting, and teaching at the elementary and middle school levels. Read more about Patricia Armstrong.
Matthew Gaertner is Director of Research in WestEd’s Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services (SAAS) program. He provides overall leadership for SAAS research and development efforts, and provides expertise and technical assistance in key areas, including statistical methods, psychometrics, standard setting, alignment studies, and experimental design. Gaertner’s research focuses on college and career readiness for disadvantaged learners. He has extensive career experience working with practitioners to apply statistical and psychometric methods to address pressing, practical concerns. Read more about Matthew Gaertner.
Joanne Jensen is the Director of Assessment Client Relations for WestEd’s Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services (SAAS) program. She supervises the development of open-response and selected-response items for the curricular areas of reading, mathematics, science, social studies, arts and humanities, practical living, and vocational studies. Jensen’s commitment to fair and valid assessment is evident throughout her extensive career experience and work with teachers in developing a range of student assessments and assessment tasks, and scoring performance tasks and constructed-response items using holistic and analytic scoring procedures. Read more about Joanne Jensen.
Steve Schneider is the Senior Program Director of the Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) program at WestEd. The STEM program, spanning grades preK-16, offers a diverse portfolio of services and projects that enhance teaching and learning across all STEM subjects. Schneider serves as the Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Center for Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning (CASEL) and also directs the National Center on Cognition and Mathematics Instruction. Read more about Steve Schneider.
Kerry Kriener-Althen is the Director of the Center for Child & Family Studies (CCFS) Evaluation Team at WestEd. The CCFS Evaluation Team develops observational assessments that support children’s development in early care and education programs. Kriener-Althen has extensive experience leading research and evaluation in enter-based and home-based early care and education settings that serve infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The core of her work focuses on overseeing the development and field-testing of the Program for Infant/Toddler Care Program Assessment Rating Scale (PITC PARS) and the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP). Read more about Kerry Kriener-Althen.
Melinda Brookshire is a Senior Program Associate in the Center for Child & Family Studies(CCFS) program at WestEd. CCFS strives promote the well-being, learning, and development of young children and their families, particularly those living in poverty, those who have experienced trauma, those who are dual language learners, and those with special needs. In her work in the field of early childhood education, Brookshire has led projects to develop and provide trainings in assessment, standards, and curriculum for teachers and administrators serving families and children ages 0–11. Read more about Melinda Brookshire.
Eric Crane is a Senior Research Associate in WestEd’s Innovation Studies program. He leads and contributes to assessment and accountability research, development, evaluation, and technical assistance projects. Crane’s work focuses on building effective common formative practices, public school accountability, statewide and district data systems, survey and test design, applied statistics and psychometrics, and program evaluation. Read more about Eric Crane.
Molly Faulkner-Bond is a Senior ResearchAssociate in the Comprehensive School Assistance Program (CSAP) at WestEd. Her work focuses on English learners, policy, and assessment. In this role, she collaborates with educators, researchers, and communities to strengthen the field of education research, increase the use and utility of education research results, substantively impact teaching and learning, and improve educational outcomes for linguistically and culturally diverse learners.
Christopher Harris is a Senior Research Associate in WestEd’s Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) program. He has specialized professional competence in: the design and study of K–12 science assessments and curriculum materials, evaluation of science and engineering programs, research on science teaching and learning in K–12 classrooms, and the study of the design and design process of STEM learning environments. Read more about Christopher Harris.
Kevin King is a Senior Assessment Manager in the Standards, Assessment, & Accountability Services (SAAS) program at WestEd. His work focuses on the intersection of content validity and technical quality. King has extensive experience in test design for all content areas, including social studies and English language acquisition. King serves as the project manager for high-stakes assessment projects and provides content leadership for Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) projects, including test design and item specifications. Read more about Kevin King.
Bryan Hemberg is a Senior Project Manager in the Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services (SAAS) program at WestEd. Hemberg provides technical assistance to state and local education agencies as they pursue the development and implementation of aligned, equitable, and high-quality standards, assessment, and accountability systems under the ESEA, as amended by ESSA. He has extensive experience working with federal agencies, states, districts, and schools to improve outcomes for all students. Read more about Bryan Hemberg.
WestEd is committed to the belief that all students should succeed in our schools and that all learners — from infants to adults — should thrive in our communities, despite the circumstances they were born into.” Glen Harvey
WestEd Chief Executive Officer
Success for every learner is WestEd’s prime focus and has been for more than five decades. A nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency working with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad, WestEd aims to improve education and other important outcomes for children, youth and adults.
The depth, diversity, and history of our work, coupled with our on-the-ground experience and research-based knowledge, give WestEd staff unique expertise in helping all learners — infants to adults — succeed in school and career.
WestEd staff meet the needs of our clients through research, evaluation, professional development, technical assistance, policy analysis, and other support.