As the Area Director of WestEd’s Assessment Research and Innovation team, Matthew Gaertner provides overall leadership for assessment research and development efforts across the agency. He manages a team of researchers focused on advanced topics in measurement, including innovative assessments of college and career readiness. Gaertner works with other senior leaders across the agency to capitalize on WestEd resources, hone research agendas and business development strategies, and manage large multidisciplinary projects. Gaertner also provides expertise and technical assistance in key areas, including psychometrics, statistical methods, standard setting, standards alignment, and experimental design.
A quantitative methodologist and psychometrician by training, Gaertner has methodological expertise in areas that include item response theory, multilevel models, and categorical data analysis. His work leverages these tools to study the effects of educational policies on access, persistence, achievement, and labor market outcomes for disadvantaged learners. He has co-edited a book on college and career readiness, through the National Council on Measurement in Education, and has authored articles, book chapters, and reports for a range of audiences. In addition to his scholarly record, his experience includes extensive work with practitioners to apply statistical methods that address pressing, practical concerns.
Prior to joining WestEd, Gaertner held research positions at SRI International, Pearson, and American Institutes for Research. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a PhD in research and evaluation methodology from the University of Colorado.