Cindy Ziker | SRI International

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Cindy Ziker

Principal Researcher, SRI Education

Cindy Ziker, Ph.D., MPH, co-leads the Assessment Group at SRI International. She is principal investigator on innovative projects for the National Science Foundation, private foundations, and commercial clients that are designed to measure learning and improve educational and social-emotional outcomes. Formerly the director of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for the Arizona Department of Education, Ziker has expertise in implementing best practices in measurement to design, field-test, and scale technology-enhanced assessments and performance tasks using the principles of evidence-centered design. She oversees large research teams that collaborate with school districts, state departments of education, and universities to collect and analyze assessment data, conduct validity studies, and report findings that can contribute to improving academic outcomes for all students, including those underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and computer science.

Ziker is passionate about advancing human potential and promoting equity. Her work leverages the principles of improvement science and collective impact approaches to engage stakeholders in broadening participation in STEM fields. She leads initiatives to improve evidence-informed teaching and learning through workshops, webinars, and technical assistance. Ziker provides backbone support for two National Science Foundation INCLUDES initiatives and is a member of California’s Region 5 STEAM Hub Steering Committee.

Ziker earned her doctorate in educational psychology at Arizona State University and completed a graduate certificate in large-scale assessment and measurement from the University of Maryland. Her master’s degree in public health practice is from the University of Arizona.

Key Projects

  1. NSF INCLUDES First2 Network Alliance, Lead for Backbone Organization
  2. NSF INCLUDES Early STEM Engagement for Minority Males Through a Network of Minority-Serving Institutions, Co-Principal Investigator, 2016-present
  3. Verizon Innovative Learning (VIL) Minority Male and VIL for Girls Program Evaluation; Principal Investigator, 2015-present. Conducts impact evaluation studies for the Verizon Education Foundation on the VIL MM (Minority Male) and VIL for Girls initiatives.
  4. SRI International’s Symposium on Impacting Equity Through Evidence: Director of a symposium on the use of evidence to inform improvements in teaching and learning in early childhood education, college and career readiness, and professional development for educators

Selected Publications

  1. Ladeji-Osias, J. O., Ziker, C. S., Gloster, C., Ali, K. S., & Gilmore, D. C. (2018, June). Board 79: Building a networked improvement community (NIC) around engaging minority males in STEM. Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT.
  2. Mislevy, R. J., Haertel, G. D., Riconscente, M. M., Rutstein, D., & Ziker, C., (2017). Assessing model-based reasoning using evidence-centered design: A suite of research-based design patterns. New York, NY: Springer.
  3. Haertel, G. D., Vendlinski, T. P., Rutstein, D., DeBarger, A., Cheng, B. H., Ziker, C., Harris, C., D’Angelo, A., Snow, E., Bienkowski, M., & Ructtinger, L. (2016). Assessing the life sciences: Using evidence-centered design for accountability purposes. In H. I. Braun (Ed)., Meeting the challenges to measurement in an era of accountability. New York, NY: Routledge.
  4. Greuel, C., Yarnall, L., Ziker, C., Kernbaum, A., & Murray, J. (2016). Intelligent coaching systems in higher-order applications: lessons from automated content creation bottlenecks. In Proceedings of 25th International Academic Conference. Paris, France.
  5. Lane, S., Zumbo, B. D., Abedi, J., Benson, J., Dossey, J., Elliott, S. N., Kane, M., Robert, L., Ziker, C., Rodriguez, M., Schraw, G., Slattery, J., Thomas, V., & Wilhoft, J. (2009). Prologue:  An introduction to the evaluation of NAEP. Applied Measurement in Education, 22(4), 309–316.