About Us


The mission of AERI is to promote meaningful use of assessment and evaluation information to improve the quality of practices and policies, internationally and across disciplines, with education as our primary field of action. Our work is guided by a philosophy of collaborative learning, stakeholder-orientation, and participatory approaches to conducting research, capacity-building and providing technical consultation and services.


Initially established under the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College (TC) in 2006, the founding co-directors of AERI were Professor Madhabi Chatterji and Professor Edmund W. Gordon, who undertook evaluation efforts of two comprehensive education initiatives, respectively, The Chemung County School Readiness Project and the Harlem Children's Zone. Thereafter, AERI's work continued through sponsored research or technical service projects prioritized by the College's leadership or partners in and outside TC and Columbia University.

In 2007-08, AERI moved to the Department of Organization and Leadership and is now situated within the Program of Social-Organizational Psychology. Professor Chatterji has served in the role of director since 2008. Between 2010-12, AERI revamped its mission and redirected its goals and activities to align more tightly with its new mission statement:  Promoting meaningful use of assessment and evaluation information to improve the quality of practices and policies in education and other applied fields.

Today, AERI pursues a more proactive agenda of knowledge creation, translation, dissemination and capacity building in the assessment and evaluation sciences. A driving element in AERI’s work today is the mobilization of knowledge to different audiences and stakeholders. Recent activities marking AERI’s new identity included the following.

  • AERI held its Inaugural Conference on March, 2012: “Conversations on Validity”
  • AERI’s second conference was held in December, 2013: “Testing Then and Now” 
  • AERI’s director co-facilitated its first national blog in March-May, 2014:  “Assessing the Assessments”
  • AERI held its Inaugural Assessment Institute in 2012, which drew over eighty participants, and featured courses on standardized testing and assessment, cost-effectiveness, program accreditation, causal models, and other topics.

To date, funders of AERI projects have included the Community Foundation of Elmira, Corning and Finger Lakes area; the Global Education and Leadership Foundation, India; the Stemmler Group of the National Board of Medical Examiners; the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Educational Testing Service; National Science Foundation; and other foundations and donors. 

AERI undertook three large scale assessment and evaluation projects between 2006 to 2012.

Past Projects:

I. Chemung County School Readiness Project, New York (2006‐09), involving:

  • A baseline study of readiness levels entering kindergartners at Chemung County, and validation of a comprehensive school readiness index comprising eight cognitive and non‐cognitive scales
  • A case study documenting the project’s history, and
  • An evaluation protocol and tools manual for future use by local stakeholders.

II. The Global Education and Leadership Foundation’s (tGELF) program in leadership and life skills, India (2008‐10), involving:

  • Design of learning outcome frameworks and curriculum‐based assessments for the tGELF program
  • Design of an evaluation protocol and tools manual for local stakeholders
  • Formative evaluation of the pilot program in four schools in and around Delhi, India.

III. Health Information Technology (HITECH) curriculum development project under the auspices of the Office of the National Coordinator, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010‐12).

  • Design of learning outcome frameworks and curriculum‐based assessments
  • Design of a logic model and Evaluation protocol to guide future program implementation and formative evaluations.
  • Content validation studies of learning outcomes, multiple choice tests and performance assessments for 40 HITECH instructional units. 

IV. Assessment development and validation projects included a partnership with the Center for Educational Research and Evaluation (CERE) at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, funded by the Stemmler Group of the National Board of Medical Examiners (2006-2010).

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