Main Menu Summer 2013

Katherine Ryan

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988
  • M.Ed., Special Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1972

Key Professional Appointments

  • Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana, 2012-present
  • Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002-2011
  • Chair, QUERIES, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007-2010
  • Head, Division of Measurement and Evaluation, Office of Instructional Resources, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1994-1999

Activities & Honors

  • A++ Award: Advocacy, Activism, and Advancement, 2012 College of Education Graduate Student Conference, College of Education, 2012-2013
  • Associate Editor, American Journal of Evaluation, 2005-2010
  • University Fellow, Center for Democracy in a Multiracial Society, 2005-2006, Center for Democracy in a Multiracial Society, 2005-2006

Research Statement

My research interests focus on educational evaluation and the intersection of educational accountability issues and high stakes assessment. As educational accountability has become increasingly more important nationally and globally, my work has examined both evaluative capacity building and monitoring issues involved in test-based educational accountability. My current research includes an investigation of the intended and unintended consequences of a state-wide assessment and accountability system in relationship to students, instruction, and educational outcomes.


  • Co-Principal Investigator, Using computer adaptive testing (CAT) to improve STEM learning, test performance, and retention, National Science Foundation, 2013-2016
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Illinois Collaborative for Educational Policy Research, Illinois State Board of Education, 2012-2015
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Assessing Complex Performance: A Postdoctoral Training Program Researching Students Writing and Assessment in Digital Workspaces, Institute of Education Sciences, 2011-2015
  • Principal Investigator, External Review of the ISBE Large Scale Assessment and Accountability System, Illinois State Board of Education, 2008-2013


  • Ryan, Katherine, Gandha, Tysza, Ahn, Jeehae (2013). School self-evaluation and inspection for improving U.S. schools? National Education Policy Center.
  • Ryan, Katherine, Gandha, Tysza, Culbertson, Michael, Carlson, Crystal (2013). Focus Group Evidence: Implications for Design and Analysis. American Journal of Evaluation, first published on December 3, 2013 as doi:10.1177/1098214013508300.
  • Ganley, C., Mingle, L., Ryan, A., Ryan, Katherine, Vasilyeva, M., Perry, M. (2013). An examination of stereotype threat effects on girls' mathematics performance. Developmental Psychology, 49(10), 1889-1897.
  • Ryan, Katherine, Timmer, J. (2013). New Zealand style school review: A view from outside. A developmental and negotiated approach to school and curriculum evaluation. Emerald Publishers: Bindley, England, United Kingdom.
  • Ryan, Katherine, Gannon, Slater, N., Culbertson, M., (2012). Improving survey methods with cognitive interviews in small- and medium-scale evaluations. American Journal of Evaluation, 33(3), 414-430.
  • Ryan, Katherine, Feller, I. (2012). Evaluation, accountability and performance measurement in national education systems: Trends, methods, and issues. In M. Preedy, N. Bennett & C.  Wise (Eds.), Educational leadership: Context, strategy. 2009,  Thousand Oaks: Sage.

In The News

Professor’s work focuses on improving U.S. schools via European methods

Jan. 23, 2014

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) highlighted some of the research conducted by College of Education at Illinois faculty member Katherine Ryan, in regard to school evaluation models that are being instituted in Western Europe. Read more...

College announces promotions of faculty, staff

Oct. 30, 2012

At the College's fall faculty meeting held earlier this month, unit leaders announced changes of status and key accomplishments within their respective units. In addition, four faculty members from the College of Education have received promotions effective this academic year. Read more...