Melissa Gholson is a researcher serving the Alternate English Language Assessment (ALTELLA) Project, an enhanced assessment grant that seeks to better understand how to assess the language development of English learners with significant cognitive disabilities. Melissa has extensive experience and knowledge within the fields of special education and assessment. Her assessment experience includes development on general, alternate and English Language Proficiency assessments. She has provided technical assistance and guidance to LEA’s, SEA’s and assessment consortia on issues of fairness, educational law and policy guidance for students with disabilities, English learners, and English learners with disabilities.
Her research and technical assistance priorities include: advocacy for equitable outcomes for special populations, policy implications and accountability requirements related to the meaningful inclusion of all subgroups, fairness, validity and accessibility in testing, and the development of alternate and English Language Proficiency assessments. She has expertise in large-scale assessments, state assessment peer review, accountability, research design and methods, assistive technology and rural education. She has a passion for research on issues of access and equity. Melissa has a doctorate in Educational Administration from Ohio University. She has a Master’s degree in Special Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Marshall University.
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