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Dawn Leusner

PROJECT AFFILIATION:

PROFESSIONAL ROLES

  • Researcher 

BIO

Dawn Leusner is a research associate in the Learning & Teaching Research Center at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, NJ. She joined the organization in 2003.

Currently, her research centers around understanding teaching quality in algebra, and the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching to explore how these contribute to and affect student learning. Working with the University of Michigan, RAND, and the University of Virginia, she is part of the team conducting studies in Georgia and Maryland, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.T. Grant Spencer Foundation, respectively.

Additionally, she continues to contribute to the research around the use of formative assessment as a mechanism for improving teaching and learning in K-12 classrooms, as well as the characteristics of and requirements for effective, scalable and sustainable teacher professional development"namely, Keeping Learning on Track, a professional development program that integrates formative assessment with teacher learning communities.

Dawn was also a project manager on the five-year NSF grant working with the Merck Institute for Science Education, Kean University and four Union County school districts to improve middle school student learning in math and science. Additionally, she consults with business units across the organization to develop product efficacy arguments for ETS non-test products.

In previous work in the Evaluation division of Validity Research at ETS, Dawn managed a program evaluation study of Criterion"an online writing service that employs automated scoring technology"in middle schools.

In her work with the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City as a relationship manager of the 30 NJ Abbott School Districts, she designed materials and instructional resources for hundreds of math and science teachers. She also developed professional development measurement tools for the institutions program evaluation process.

Dawn has more than 15 years of quantitative and qualitative data analysis experience. Working for Prudential as a senior data analyst, she received the 2000 Prudential Award of Excellence for significant improvement to company persistency resulting in annual revenue savings of over $34M. She also designed an information-collection database measuring customer behavior that not only automated manual processes through technology, but retained business in excess of $16M annually. Through this work, she became an organizational change agent shaping the companys culture.

Dawn graduated from Georgian Court College as a National Dean Scholar where she received a B.S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in marketing. She was also awarded an academic scholarship to study at Bond University in Queensland, Australia. She recently completed a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum, Instruction & Supervision at Rider University. 

EXPERTISE

educational research, market research, quantitative and qualitative data analyses 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Beckwith, A., Byrne, C., Leusner, D., Moskowitz, L., Smith, D. (January 2003). Abbott Partnership Program: Mid-Year Report. Prepared for the New Jersey State Department of Education.


Leusner, D., & Ohls, S. (July 2008). Praxis III Research Update Summary. (ETS Research Memorandum No. RM-08-09). Princeton, NJ: ETS.

Leusner, D. M., Ellsworth, J., & Goe, L. (2008, June). Scaling Up Across Diverse Contexts: Lessons Learned From Five Implementations of the Keeping Learning on Track Program. In E. C. Wylie (Ed.), Tight but loose: Scaling up teacher professional development in diverse contexts (RR-08 No. 29, pp. 105-124). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

Leusner, D., Ellsworth, J. & Goe, L. (2007, April). Scaling Up Across Diverse Contexts: Lessons Learned through Five Implementations of Keeping Learning on Track. In Tight but loose: Scaling up teacher professional development in diverse contexts. Symposium conducted at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education, Chicago.

Leusner, D., & Lyon, C. (2008). Providing a research basis for ETS products (ETS Research Memorandum No. RM-08-01). Princeton, NJ: ETS.

Lyon, C. J., Leusner, D. M., & Ciofalo, J. (2009). Research rationale for the diagnostic items in math and science project. PEAr-09-03. ETS PEAr Series, Educational Testing Service; Princeton, NJ.

Lyon, C., & Leusner, D. (2008). Research Rationale for the Keeping Learning on Track Program: Integrating Assessment with Instruction through Teacher Learning Communities. PEAr-08-01. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

Schmidgall, J. & Leusner, D. (2009). Research Rationale for the Academic Connections Program. PEAr-09-03. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

Sondergeld, T., Leusner, D. & Bell, C. (2008). Changing teachers and their practice: Toward an understanding of how teachers engage in formative assessment. Paper presented on March 25, 2008, at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education, New York, NY.

Sondergeld, T., Bell, C. & Leusner, D. (Spring 2010). Understanding how teachers engage in formative assessment. Teaching & Learning: The Journal of Natural Inquiry & Reflective Practice, 24(2) 72-86.

Steinberg, J., Wylie, E.C., & Leusner, D. (2009, October). The Investigation of Measurement Properties in Low-Stakes Cross-District Interim Mathematics Assessments. Paper presented on October 22, 2009 at the Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, Rocky Hill, CT.