Sarah Quesen is the Deputy Director of Assessment Research and Innovation in the Assessment Design and Development team at WestEd. She has expertise in statistics, psychometrics, and assessment and accountability models. Her research interests include discovering patterns in large datasets to extract meaningful, actionable information.
At WestEd, Quesen directs research studies and supports evidence-based technical assistance for states and districts. She is committed to identifying ways to enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility considerations. She has conducted extensive research in evaluating false positive rates from differential item functioning (DIF) models when there are proficiency distribution differences between groups and research on novel approaches to evaluating automated scoring models for subpopulation fairness and validity.
She has over 25 years of experience as an educator and continues to serve on the teaching faculty in the Department of Statistics at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining WestEd, Quesen was a senior research scientist at Pearson, serving as lead psychometrician on complex large-scale assessment contracts. At Pearson, she oversaw the psychometric effort to support the entire assessment cycle: field testing, data review, item banking, test construction, classical item analyses, item response theory (IRT) equating and scaling, reporting, validity studies, technical documentation, and presentations to Technical Advisory Committees (TACs).
Quesen received a Doctor of Philosophy in Research Methodology from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s in Public Health from the West Virginia University School of Medicine, and a Bachelor of Science in Culture and Communication from New York University.