In March 2009, edCount, LLC, welcomed its newest staff member, Elizabeth Towles-Reeves, Ph.D., to its growing team of education policy analysts. An experienced researcher and evaluator, Dr. Towles-Reeves is a specialist in alternate assessment and services to students with disabilities.

Dr. Towles-Reeves’ work combines research expertise with experience grounded in classroom practice. At edCount Dr. Towles-Reeves will participate in edCount’s three contracts to evaluate the validity of alternate assessments for students with disabilities.

Beginning in 2005, Dr. Towles-Reeves served as project coordinator at the University of Kentucky’s National Alternate Assessment Center (NAAC), a project funded by the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Starting in 2007, Dr. Towles-Reeves also served as the research coordinator for NAAC’s General Supervision Enhancement Grant (GSEG); the GSEG is a grant to support a 5-state consortium in studies to test and strengthen the validity of the participating states’ alternate assessment practices.

Over the past decade Dr. Towles-Reeves’ research products have reflected her commitment to understanding the cognition of special needs students and designing and improving testing and instruction to maximize the achievement potential of this population. She has authored or co-authored more than a dozen research reports, the majority of which have appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals. She has designed several research instruments that are in wide use, including an index of learner characteristics; authored several book chapters, and, since 2003, has presented regularly at national and regional conferences. In 2007 she was awarded TASH’s Alice H. Hayden Emerging Researcher Award for her commitment to improving understanding and service to the population of students with disabilities.

edCount looks forward to the high-quality contributions Dr. Towles-Reeves will bring to our growing body of work and welcomes her warmly to our team.