Who We Are

SIG Officers

Current Chair
Timothy Sares, Ph.D.

Tim is the Vice President of the Beck Foundation, which funds projects that enhance the educational experiences of school-age children, and concentrates on underserved populations in the United States and abroad.  The foundation supports the following list of educational initiatives: 

Tim is one of the founding members of the Test Validity SIG and has served as Program Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. 

John W. Young, Ph.D.

John is a Senior Research Scientist and the Director of the Higher Education research group in the Center for Validity Research at ETS. For the past six years, the primary focus of his research has been on increasing the validity and fairness of content assessments taken by English language learners in grades K – 12. Prior to returning to ETS in 2006, he was a faculty member for 17 years at Rutgers University and served as the program coordinator of the Educational Statistics, Measurement, and Evaluation group. He received his Ph.D. in educational measurement from Stanford University in 1989, and in 1999, he received the Early Career Contribution Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Committee on Scholars of Color in Education for his research on academic achievement and minority students.

Program Chair
Jade Cains, Ph.D.

Jade graduated with honors in Urban Studies with a focus in Urban Education from Stanford University in 2000. She received a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Secondary English from Brooklyn College in 2003. In 2011, she graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation from Emory University. Jade is a permanently certified teacher who has taught every grade (prekindergarten through college) during her more than 10 year teaching career. She has served as a researcher and evaluator on various projects sponsored by national research centers, universities, and private consulting firms.

Currently, Jade is an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Questions guiding her research interests include: What methodologies can be applied to evaluating the development and validation of scales and instruments? How can theory inform psychometric processes and procedures? How can assessments be validated while attending to issues of context, such as culture and poverty? Her areas of expertise include scale and instrument development, program evaluation, validity theory, Rasch measurement and standard setting. As an early career scholar, Jade is looking forward to serving the Test Validity SIG in whatever ways possible. Given her prior experiences as an English teacher, she believes that the Secretary position would be the best fit. 

Program Chair
Chad Gotch, Ph.D.

Chad (Ph.D., Washington State University) is a Research Associate and Clinical Assistant Professor at Washington State University's Learning and Performance Research Center. He studies assessment/measurement literacy among teachers, score reporting, and building validity arguments from both technical and non-technical evidence. He also teaches graduate-level classes in statistics and educational measurement.

Chad has served the professional community in a number of ways. He spent three years on the Graduate Student Issues Committee of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), serving the last two as Chair. In this role, he was responsible for putting together an invited symposium and a graduate student poster session for the annual meeting. Gotch has continued to serve NCME this year, as a member of an ad hoc subcommittee for the organization's 75th anniversary. He also served AERA's Division D with one-year tenures on the Business Meeting and Luncheon Committee and Graduate Student Seminar Committee.

The Test Validity Research and Evaluation SIG has provided Chad an opportunity to present his work at the AERA annual meeting in the past, and he is eager to give back to the SIG with his service.

Hao Song, Ph.D.

Hao is the Senior Director for Psychometrics and Research at the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) in Chicago, Illinois. She received her Ph.D. in educational statistics, measurement and evaluation from Rutgers University in 2007. Hao has managing the development, administration and psychometric analysis of high-stakes certification examinations.  Hao has  been active in validity research on maintenance of certification examinations for physicians in practice, content validity, improving the reliability of subscore estimations and their valid uses, and evaluating the use of innovative item types such as computer simulations in assessing physicians’ clinical performance. Hao worked as a researcher in the institutional office at Rutgers and at the Newark school district, conducting validity research on the assessment of English language learners in grades K-12 and higher education.

Leslie Shaw, Ph.D.

Leslie (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is a Postdoctoral Trainee in the Statistics and Research Methodology (SRM) Unit housed within the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Her research interests include but are not limited to value-added assessment, longitudinal analysis, structural equation modeling, educational measurement, and test validity. Prior to joining CYFS, she worked as a graduate assistant at the Buros Center for Testing and was summer graduate research intern in the Foundational and Validity area at Educational Testing Services. She has been a member of AERA Division D since 2008 and presented research on value-added assessment at several meetings. Additionally, she was an active participant in the 2010 Graduate Student Council Fireside Chat on internship opportunities in measurement and educational research.

Saler Axel

Saler is a doctoral student at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and a Research Assistant at the Research in Mathematics Unit (RME) of SMU. Her research interests include studying test-focused performance standard setting approaches and their impact on consequential validity issues. Saler works on test development at RME. She is currently the Project Lead over the item development phase of an algebra readiness screener for Grades 2-8 funded by IStation, Inc.  Prior to entering her doctoral program, Saler taught second grade general studies and middle school science. She was also a professor of teacher education and child development at Houston Community College System (HCCS) and Lonestar College System in the Houston metropolitan area. In addition, Saler obtained her undergraduate degree in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and her master's degree in Childhood Education from Pace University.