Jo Topps is a WestEd K–12 Alliance Regional Director. Her work focuses on how everyone from the teacher to the state department of education can help teachers reflect on their practice and its impact on student learning.
Topps directs the development, coordination, and implementation of professional development programs in STEM fields, kindergarten through postsecondary, on regional, statewide, and national levels. Topps has served as professional development and technical assistance provider for California’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and for the Early Implementor Initiative, the ABC STEM Initiative, the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) program, Math Pathways and Pitfalls, and Improving Teacher Quality/California Postsecondary Education Commission (ITQ/CPEC). She has also been a design team member for the Carnegie Foundation American Museum of Natural History NGSS tools project, FOSS Leadership Academy, the National Science Foundation State Systemic Initiative (SSI), the Center for Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning (CAESL), and the St. Louis Math Science Partnership (MSP).
Topps helped develop California’s science reform effort as a writer of the California Science Content Standards (2000). She coauthored Assessment-Centered Teaching: A Reflective Practice, The Science Assessment Facilitator Guide, and The Guide to Selecting and Purchasing Instructional Materials. As a lecturer and instructor at California State University, Long Beach, Topps is a thesis committee member and supervisor of secondary student teachers.
Topps received a BS in social science from the University of California, Irvine, an MS in education from California State University, Fullerton, and is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership at the University of La Verne.