About AAI

Established in 2012, the Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI) is the umbrella organization encompassing four specialized educational research centers at the University of Kansas, including the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE), a nationally recognized research center specializing in large-scale assessment and online test-delivery systems.

As part of a major research university community, AAI staff members are deeply committed to expanding the knowledge base for academic assessment, applying their findings with the fundamental aim of helping teachers and students achieve the best possible outcomes. For more than 30 years, we have developed leading-edge testing programs and technology tools, including KITE™—an online testing interface for students that includes practice items and formative tools. AAI’s editing and communications group also provides key support for our initiatives, delivering professional editing, passage development, graphic design, website design, and public relations services.

Many of AAI's projects involve working with multiple states, including up to 18 states for the Dynamic Learning Maps™ Alternate Assessment System Consortium, of which Alaska is a member. AAI will customize Alaska’s state assessments to fit the unique cultural and educational requirements of Alaska's teachers and students and will administer tests via the KITE system.

AAI’s other research centers are Agile Technology Solutions, the Center for Public Partnerships and Research, and the Center for Educational Opportunity Programs. AAI employs about 350 professionals, all committed to building partnerships, products, and programs in educational practice, assessment, and evaluation. These initiatives benefit children, adults, communities, and publicly funded agencies at the local, state, and national levels. 

AAI Staff

Marianne Perie,
Project Director

Dr. Perie will oversee the Alaska English language arts and mathematics assessments project. She serves as director of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE) at the University of Kansas. Previously, she was a senior associate with the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, providing technical assistance to more than 16 states and territories. Dr. Perie’s primary interests during the last 18 years have been in the areas of standard setting, reporting, accountability, technical documentation, and validity studies.

Gail Tiemann,
Project Director

Tiemann will serve with Dr. Perie as co-director for the Alaska English language arts and mathematics assessments project. She is an assessment specialist for several programs at CETE, including cPass Career Competency Qualifications, the Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment, and the Adaptive Reading Motivation Measure. Tiemann has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a doctoral candidate in education research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics at the University of Kansas.

Laura Kramer,
Sr. Technical Advisor

Dr. Kramer will oversee the technical aspects of content creation for the Alaska English language arts and mathematics assessments project. She serves as an associate director of CETE and oversees multiple assessment projects. Previously, Dr. Kramer worked with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for 14 years, overseeing all aspects of test development and psychometrics, and with the Mississippi Department of Education for two years, overseeing and documenting the technical quality of the state's assessment system.

Susan Martin
ATS Director

Martin will oversee the KITE™ Suite of software used for administering AMP assessments. Martin is director of Agile Technology Solutions, the arm of AAI responsible for the KITE Suite and AMP Service Desk. She has nearly 20 years’ private sector experience in agile software development, including work in leading project management, business analysis, development, database administration, and quality assurance teams. Martin holds an undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Kansas.

Lisa McBride,
Editor-in-Chief

McBride will oversee the review of assessment items and documents for the Alaska English language arts and mathematics assessments project. She will lead writing workshops on-site in Alaska to develop passage content. She will also train in-house writers and develop a network of authors for commissioning work. McBride oversees editing, graphic design, and passage development for CETE. She has a master of fine arts in creative writing from Texas State University and has more than 10 years of experience teaching, writing, and editing.

Scott Bishop,
Lead Psychometrician

Dr. Bishop will manage psychometric evaluation of the Alaska Measures of Progress, ensuring the reliability and validity of AMP assessments. During his career, Bishop has provided technical support to many large-scale norm- and criterion-referenced testing programs. He has also consulted on formative assessment programs, supported the development of several off-the-shelf tests, and overseen a number of special linking and validity studies. He currently serves as lead psychometrician at CETE.

Lauren Adams,
English Language Arts Test Development Lead

Adams will coordinate the development and implementation of English language arts test items for Alaska's assessments. She will be responsible for training and managing the English language arts test development staff and reviewing their work to ensure quality. Adams has a master's degree in instructional design and technology and previously worked as a high school English teacher.

Alicia Stoltenberg,
Mathematics Test Development Lead

Stoltenberg will coordinate the development and implementation of mathematics test items for Alaska's assessments. She will be responsible for training and managing the math test development staff and reviewing their work to ensure quality. Stoltenberg has a master's degree in education and previously worked as a middle school math teacher.

William Bennett,
Science Test Development Lead

Bennett will coordinate the development and implementation of science test items for Alaska's assessments. He will be responsible for training and managing the science test development staff and reviewing their work to ensure quality. Bennett has a master's and doctoral degree in science education from the University of Iowa and previously taught biology and chemistry for Benedictine College.

Jenny Flinders,
Research Project Specialist

Jenny Flinders will assist the AMP program team in monitoring project deliverables and deadlines, as well as facilitating communication with Alaska educators and administrators. She serves CETE as a research project specialist and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in social and cultural studies in education through the department of educational leadership and policy at the University of Kansas.