Megan Welsh, who teaches in the School’s PhD and MA programs, conducts research in the use of assessment as an educational reform lever. She is an expert in evaluation of educational programs and the science of developing methods for determining the quality and validity of assessments.
“The context for my work is educational reform, particularly as it relates to accountability for schools and teachers,” said Welsh. “I am interested in how teachers respond to assessments and accountability efforts and how their work changes as a result of assessment.”
For instance, Welsh is co-principal investigator on a $2.3 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to examine whether a simple tool for capturing behavioral progress in students can also be used to identify students who need intensive behavioral support. Welsh is collecting data from multiple districts across three states for this study.
Welsh is also researching how consistently teachers and
assessments bring Common Core State Standards “to life” by
comparing scoring on standards-based report cards, which grade
students using the same scale as high-stakes assessments, rather
than on the traditional A-F scale. In another project, she is
developing new measures in response to
the “growing mandate” to evaluate student teachers differently.
“Typically, a student teacher’s cooperating teacher scores their
performance, but there is a call for value-added assessments that
measure a student teacher’s classroom instructional efforts with
a link back to the student teacher’s preparation program,”
Welsh received her PhD in educational psychology from the University of Arizona in 2009. She was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut from 2008 to 2014 and is the associate editor of Educational Administration Quarterly.