Senior Research Associate
Muench currently provides content expertise with WestEd's Assessment Standards and Development Services (ASDS) program on state alignment studies by analyzing the relationship between mathematics content standards and test items, and the relationship between a state's mathematics standards and those of other states or national mathematics standards.
She also develops crosswalks between a state's revised standards and previous standards. These studies ultimately help determine how well a set of standards is aligned with a test and/or other standards.
Muench's ASDS work involves general education standards and extends to special population assessment, Job Corps student training standards development, and standards for workplace readiness and 21st Century skills. Within the ASDS program, Muench's responsibilities have also included developing mathematics state test items, reviewing and editing math content of test items, and meeting with state personnel to design, implement, and facilitate state-level test item development and review.
Previously, Muench was a member of WestEd's Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) program. With the Eisenhower Regional Consortium, she collaborated with key state, district, and site personnel to provide technical assistance and staff development in mathematics education, assessment, and using data to effect change. In addition, Muench and her STEM colleagues helped develop a mathematics curriculum for an algebra intervention project, conducted reviews of a NASA-sponsored mathematics supplementary curriculum, provided external evaluation for Northern Arizona University projects, and served as a member of external audit teams to review schools’ mathematics offerings.
Partnering with individual school sites in California and Arizona, Muench worked with district teams to refine district efforts to improve mathematics education, and facilitated sessions and institutes using tools and processes she co-developed, including Learning From Assessment: Tools for Examining Assessment Through Standards, a middle school mathematics professional development resource; the "America Counts Roving Institute" mathematics tutoring program for under-represented populations; and Supporting Data-Driven Decision Making in Schools, a toolkit for helping underperforming schools analyze and use data for school improvement.
Her work with STEM also included providing content expertise to evaluate California professional development institutes, the California Mathematics Implementation Study, and school improvement efforts in mathematics and systemic change, including district textbook adoptions. In addition, she has served as a member of various national task forces that created the CD-ROM Blueprints: Practical Tools for Designing and Implementing Professional Development in Mathematics and Science; the LNP Alternative Assessment Toolkit; and Improving Classroom Assessment: A Toolkit for Professional Developers.
In her early work with WestEd's Career-Technology Assessment Program, Muench collaborated with vocational education teachers to design and develop performance tasks, multiple-choice items, written scenarios, and student portfolios. She also provided staff development in the use of these assessments.
Muench has presented at several national conferences for mathematics teachers and supervisors and has led regional efforts for the Mathematics Institute at the Improving America’s Schools conferences, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
A veteran junior and senior high school mathematics and computer science teacher, Muench has developed both student and teacher textbook materials as well as assessment tasks in mathematics.
She received both a BS and MS in mathematics from Purdue University.