LSI Formative Assessment National Conference

Featured Speakers

Dr. Dylan Wiliam


Dylan Wiliam, PhD, is one of the world’s foremost education authorities. He has helped to successfully implement classroom formative assessment in thousands of schools all over the world, including the United States, Singapore, Sweden, Australia, and the United Kingdom. A two-part BBC series, “The Classroom Experiment,” tracked Wiliam’s work at one British middle school, showing how formative assessment strategies empower students, significantly increase engagement, and shift classroom responsibility from teachers to their students so that students become agents of and collaborators in their own learning.

Meredith Liben

Senior Fellow for Strategic Initiatives, Student Achievement Partners

Meredith Liben works closely with states, districts, schools, publishers, and organizations working to ensure strong student learning through implementation of the Common Core State Standards. She worked on the Common Core State Standards for ELA and is a member of the Common Core ELA Working Group. Specifically, she worked on the reading standards and ran the text complexity measurement studies that developed and validated tools for analyzing both quantitative and qualitative text complexity that is central to the CCSS.

Meredith Liben works closely with states, districts, schools, publishers and organizations working to ensure strong student learning through implementation of the Common Core State Standards. She worked on the Common Core State Standards for ELA, leading the text complexity measurement work, and was a member of the Common Core ELA Working Group. Meredith has taught in a wide range of settings over the past 30 years, spanning kindergarten through grad school.

Most recently, she taught embedded literacy content to rural CTE students. In addition, she was an adjunct at Community College of Vermont, and taught reading and writing instructional methods courses to new teachers transitioning from industry to the classroom. Recently, she had a chance to combine her expertise in CTE and the Common Core as a member of the Promoting College and Career Ready Standards in ABE taskforce. The work of that group resulted in the publication of College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education.

In the 1980s and ‘90s, she founded and taught in two schools in Harlem, New York Prep and the Family Academy, the latter a full service school that achieved high academic outcomes for neighborhood students. She has a master’s degree in Teaching of English with a concentration in Rhetoric from City University of New York and a bachelor’s degree in Classics and Government from Oberlin College.

David Liben

Senior Fellow in the area of Literacy and English Language Arts, Student Achievement Partners

David has over 40 years of experience in education. He has taught elementary, middle school and high school students in public and private schools as well as community college and teacher preparation courses in New York City and Vermont.

David, along with Meredith, founded two innovative model schools in New York City. In 1985, they joined other teachers to found New York Prep, a junior high school in East Harlem. In 1991, they founded the Family Academy. David served as the school’s Principal and lead curriculum designer for the first twelve years of the school.

During that time, in addition to overseeing the curriculum, staff and programs, David was responsible for developing the Family Academy curriculum, which now exists in part as Articles by the Libens describing the school model and full curriculum have appeared in Educational Leadership and Phi Delta Kappan and will be the subject of an upcoming book.

Since 2010, David has worked with Student Achievement Partners and has focused his work on publishers interested in making high quality, comprehensive ELA programs that are aligned to College and Career Readiness. He has also developed many training courses and has consulting and coached many districts and schools, working with educators on how to teach students to learn independently from complex text. David synthesized the research behind the CCSS and is currently, the Senior Fellow in Literacy at Student Achievement Partners.

Daniel Willingham

Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia

Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education.

He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is the author of Why Don’t Students Like School?, When Can You Trust the Experts?, Raising Kids Who Read, and The Reading Mind. His writing on education has appeared in sixteen languages.

​In 2017 he was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Member of the National Board for Education Sciences.

Jay McTighe

Educational Author and Consultant

Jay McTighe brings a wealth of experience developed during a rich and varied career in education. He served as director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium, a state collaboration of school districts working together to develop and share formative performance assessments.

Prior to this position, Jay was involved with school improvement projects at the Maryland State Department of Education where he helped lead Maryland’s standards-based reforms, including the development of performance-based statewide assessments. He also directed the development of the Instructional Framework, a multimedia database on teaching.

Well known for his work with thinking skills, Jay has coordinated statewide efforts to develop instructional strategies, curriculum models, and assessment procedures for improving the quality of student thinking. In addition to his work at the state level, Jay has experience at the district level in Prince George’s County, Maryland, as a classroom teacher, resource specialist, and program coordinator. He also directed a state residential enrichment program for gifted and talented students.

Jay is an accomplished author, having co-authored 14 books, including the award-winning and best-selling Understanding by Design series with Grant Wiggins. His books have been translated into six languages. Jay has also written more than 35 articles and book chapters, and been published in leading journals, including Educational Leadership (ASCD) and ED WEEK.

Susan Brookhart


Susan M. Brookhart, Ph.D., is an independent educational consultant and author based in Helena, Montana. Brookhart’s interests include the role of both formative and summative classroom assessment in student motivation and achievement, the connection between classroom assessment and large-scale assessment, and grading.

She was the 2007-2009 editor of Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, a journal of the National Council on Measurement in Education. She is author or co-author of 16 books and more than 60 articles and book chapters on classroom assessment, teacher professional development, and evaluation. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals.

Dr. Brookhart received her Ph.D. in Educational Research and Evaluation from The Ohio State University, after teaching in both elementary and middle schools. She was a full-time faculty member at Duquesne University, most recently as Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership. She currently serves as a Research and Professional Development Consultant in the Center for Advancing the Study of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education at Duquesne.

Ken O’Connor

Education Consultant

Ken O’Connor is a staunch advocate for standards-based teaching, grading and reporting. He has been a staff development presenter and facilitator in 46 states in the U.S., nine provinces and one territory in Canada, and 22 countries outside North America. Ken is the author of The School Leaders Guide to Grading, A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades, How to Grade for Learning: Linking Grades to Standards, and Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades: A Repair Kit.

From 1990 to 1999, he served as a curriculum coordinator for student assessment and evaluation and geography for the Scarborough Board of Education, and later the Toronto District School Board and current is an independent consultant who specializes in issues relating to communicating student achievement. Ken earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Education from the University of Toronto.

Michael D. Toth

CEO & Chief Learning Officer, Learning Sciences International

Michael D. Toth is founder and CEO of Learning Sciences International (LSI) and leads LSI’s Applied Research Center. He is the author of The Power of Student Teams: Achieving Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Learning in Every Classroom Through Academic Teaming with David Sousa; author of Who Moved My Standards? Joyful Teaching in an Age of Change; and co-author with Dr. Robert J. Marzano of The Essentials of a Standards-Driven Classroom, School Leadership for Results, and Teacher Evaluation that Makes a Difference.

Toth was formerly the president of the National Center for the Profession of Teaching, a university faculty member, and director of research and development grants. He is an expert in research-based school improvement models, shifting instructional methodologies, root causes analysis for school issues, and building 21st century skills in students; he gives public presentations and advises education leaders on these issues.

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