LAWRENCE — A national organization of testing professionals has honored the career accomplishments of Neal Kingston, director of the Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI) and professor in the School of Education’s Research, Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics Program at the University of Kansas.
During its annual business meeting at the 2015 AERA National Conference in Chicago, the National Association of Assessment Directors (NAAD) recognized Kingston for his exemplary contributions to the field of assessment. As a recipient of the NAAD Award for Outstanding Contributions to Educational Assessment, Kingston joins a distinguished group that includes Jamal Abedi, Gage Kingsbury, Bob Linn and Jim Popham.
“Neal Kingston has been a great faculty member and leader for the School of Education and the University of Kansas,” said School of Education Dean Rick Ginsberg. “In his time at KU, he led the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation to greater heights of national prominence, and his leadership in creating and designing the Achievement and Assessment Institute resulted in that becoming a KU designated research center. The Dynamic Learning Maps grant is poised to change standardized testing across the United States by giving immediate feedback to teachers throughout the school year on the progress of their students. Neal is a national leader in the assessment community and very worthy of this recognition.”
Kingston came to KU in 2006. His research focuses on large-scale assessment, with particular emphasis on how it can better support student learning. He is the principal investigator/director or co-principal investigator of several large research projects, including design and development of the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment, Kansas Assessment Program, Career Pathways Assessment System, and Development and Validation of Online Adaptive Reading Motivation Measures.
Kingston started his career as a high school science teacher. After graduate school, he worked many years at Educational Testing Service as an applied psychometrician, measurement group manager, director of Research, Test Development and New Testing Initiatives for the GRE Program, and executive director for Workplace Assessment and Training. As the former Kentucky Associate Commissioner for Curriculum and Assessment, Kingston was responsible for a statewide assessment system that included performance events and mathematics, writing and alternate assessment portfolios. He worked on more than a dozen state assessment programs as vice president, then senior vice president at Measured Progress. Prior to coming to KU, Kingston was vice president of research at CTB McGraw-Hill in which capacity he shared responsibility for ensuring that assessment products met educator needs.
AAI is the umbrella organization for four specialized research centers at KU, including CETE, a nationally recognized research center specializing in large-scale assessment and online test-delivery systems. As part of a major research university community, 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, CETE has developed leading-edge testing programs and technology tools.
AAI’s other research centers are Agile Technology Solutions, the Center for Public Partnerships & Research, and the Center for Educational Opportunity Programs. In all, AAI employs about 500 staff members, 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.