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Susan Lyons’s work centers on promoting and evaluating the quality of assessment and accountability systems. She is deeply involved with the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) project, where she leads much of the design and analysis to support the technical quality of the innovative assessment system—including the validity and comparability of the annual determinations for federal accountability. Susan is also working to support states as they transition their assessment and accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) through her work with the with multiple states and partnerships with key educational organizations.

She actively publishes her work and frequently presents at local and national professional conferences.

Susan received a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas with a concentration in Research, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics. She was awarded multiple honors, including the School of Education Merit Scholarship, the Mary Oyster O’Guin Memorial Scholarship, and a Graduate Studies Fellowship. While a graduate student, Susan was a Research Assistant at the Center for Research on Learning and Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE). Prior to pursuing graduate study, she was a seventh grade math teacher in Quito, Ecuador.

Susan Lyons works with state education leaders and other educational organizations to design and evaluate high quality assessment and accountability systems. Other areas of expertise include psychometrics, performance assessment, and teacher evaluation.

Recent and Relevant Publications

Evans, C., & Lyons, S. (2017). Comparability in innovative assessment systems for state accountability. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. doi:10.1111/emip.12152

Lyons, S., & Dadey, N. (2017). Considering English language proficiency within systems of accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Latino Policy Forum and National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (Center for Assessment). Available from:

Marion, S., & Lyons, S. (2016). In Search of Unicorns: Conceptualizing and validating the “Fifth Indicator” in ESSA accountability systems. National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (Center for Assessment). Available from: Marion Lyons ESSA Accountability 5th Indicator 111416.

Lyons, S., & Hall, E. (2016). The role of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing in establishing a methodology to support the evaluation of assessment quality. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for Measurement in Education, Washington DC. Available from: Standards in Assessment Quality Eval 042016.

Gillmor, S., Poggio, J., & Embretson, S. (2015). Effects of reducing cognitive load of mathematics test items on student performance. Numeracy, 8(1), 4. Available from:


Scott Marion and Susan Lyons worked with colleagues at KnowledgeWorks, iNACOL, and the National Center for Innovation in Education to provide advice to the U.S. Department of Education regarding the applications and selection criteria for…