Martha Thurlow

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Martha Thurlow is Director of the National Center on Educational Outcomes. In this position, she addresses the implications of contemporary U.S. policy and practice for students with disabilities and English Language Learners, including national and statewide assessment policies and practices, standards-setting efforts, and graduation requirements. During the past decade, Dr. Thurlow has been the principal investigator on 15 federal or state projects that have focused on the participation of students with special needs in large-scale assessments, with particular emphasis on how to obtain valid, reliable, and comparable measures of the knowledge and skills of these students while at the same time ensuring that the assessments are truly measuring their knowledge and skills rather than their disabilities or limited language when these are not the focus of the assessment. Studies have covered a range of topics, including participation decision making, accommodations, computer-based testing, graduation exams, and alternate assessments. Dr. Thurlow has published extensively on all of these topics.