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Testing Consortium Names Math Director

Shelbi Cole, a former math education consultant for the Connecticut State Department of Education, is the new mathematics director at a consortium of 27 states working to develop assessments pegged to the Common Core State Standards.

The SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium also has just named Magda Chia, a doctoral candidate in education at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as the director of support for under-represented students.

Cole has already been involved in the work of the SMARTER Balanced consortium. She served as the co-chair of its performance task work group and was closely involved in the development of the consortium's math content specifications issued last year, a press release says. She earned a master's degree in secondary education and a doctorate in gifted education from the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

In her new role, Cole will oversee item writing, quality, and alignment, as well as the production of formative assessment and professional development materials.

Chia, whose research addresses validity and fairness in assessments across diverse student populations, will lead the consortium's efforts to ensure the assessment system is "designed to effectively serve the needs of all students, including students with disabilities and English language learners," the press release says.

The announcement follows news last week that Barbara Kapinus, a senior policy analyst at the National Education Association, was named the consortium's English/language arts director.

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