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Christopher Sanford

Research Analyst, SRI Education

Christopher Sanford, PhD, has 24 years of experience in special education, including classroom instruction, research, and assessment development.

Since joining SRI in 2003, Sanford has worked on a variety of tasks and projects. His specializations include design, development, and validation of both large-scale and specialized assessments for students with disabilities; quantitative data collection and analysis; qualitative data collection and analysis; data collection design and implementation; evidence-centered design; universal design for learning; special education classroom instruction; and postsecondary transition for students with disabilities.

At SRI, Sanford has worked extensively on the development of alternate assessments in math and English/language arts for students with significant cognitive disabilities as part of the National Center and State Collaborative and the Alternate Assessment Design-Mathematics projects.

Currently, Sanford is a Co-PI on two assessment development projects. The Transition Assessment Goal Generator-Alternate is an assessment specifically designed for use with students with intellectual disabilities (ID) to help identify postsecondary transition goals. The Diagnostic Interview for Adolescents and Adults with Intellectual Disability (DIA-AID) is an assessment to identify potential mental disorders in individuals with ID.

Before earning his PhD, Sanford worked on data collection activities for the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) as the transcript manager. In this role, he coordinated the mailing, follow-up, tracking, and receipt of records for more than 10,000 students; and led the transcript coding and editing activities.

He also worked on the Evaluation of Educational Technology Interventions and the Evaluation of Mathematics for which he developed procedures to schedule and coordinate multiple site visits, as well as track protocols used in data collection, working closely with programmers to design interactive web-based data systems to schedule site visits and track protocols.

Sanford was a reviewer for the National Study of Alternate Assessments (NSAA), working with other researchers to analyze documents describing state alternate assessments and content standards in an effort to describe the current status of each state’s alternate assessment, the impact on individual students with disabilities, and the effect on student outcomes.

Sanford has contributed to reports of findings from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS), NLTS2, and NSAA; and has presented at national professional conferences.

Sanford earned his PhD from the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education at the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University, with specializations in postsecondary transition planning, hierarchical linear modeling, and item response modeling.

Key projects

  1. Transition Assessment Goal Generator-Alternate (TAGG-A)
  2. Diagnostic Inventory for Adolescents and Adults with Intellectual Disability (DIA-AID)
  3. National Center and State Collaborative
  4. Alternate Assessment Design-Math
  5. National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2)

Most recent publications

  1. Haertel, G. D., Cheng, B. H., Cameto, R., Fujii, R., Sanford, C., Rutstein, D., & Morrison, K. (2012). Design and development of technology-enhanced assessment tasks: Integrating evidence-centered design and Universal Design for Learning frameworks to assess hard to measure science constructs and increase student accessibility. ETS.
  2. Sanford, C., Newman, L., Wagner, M., Cameto, C., Knokey, A-M., & Shaver, D. (2011). The post-high school outcomes of youth with disabilities up to 6 years after high school. Key findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) (NCSER 2011-3004). SRI International.
  3. Cameto, R., Knokey, A-M., & Sanford, C. (2011). Participation in postsecondary education of young adults with learning disabilities: Findings from NLTS2. Learning Disabilities, 17(2), 45–54.

Selected/Highlighted publications

  1. Cameto, R., Sanford, C., & Blackorby, J. (2007). Alternate assessment results for students with disabilities in elementary and middle school: A special topic report from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study. SRI International.
  2. Cameto, R., Sanford, C., & Blackorby, J. (2005). Alternate assessment among a national sample of students with disabilities: A special topic report from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study. SRI International.
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