Steve is a consulting Professorial Fellow at ACU and the Mickelson Foundation Professor in the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University, USA. His research focuses on scale development and educational assessment practices. Most of this research addresses questions about children’s social and academic competence, with particular interest on student with disabilities or at risk for educational difficulties.
Over the past decade, his research has expanded to measure school leadership and instructional practices that effect students’ opportunities to learn. Assessment tools that Steve has developed include the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS), Social Skills Improvement System (SSiS), Academic Competence Evaluation Scales (ACES), My Instructional Learning Opportunities Guidance System (MyiLOGS), and the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VALED). This work has been supported by industry partners and 24 federal grants worth nearly $50 million. Steve is currently co-Principal Investigator for the National Centre on Assessment and Accountability for Special Education, a United States Department of Education centre focusing on assessing the academic growth of students with disabilities.
During his 3+ decades of research, Steve has published over 200 articles, chapters, and books on (a) the assessment of children's social and academic competence, (b) the design and evaluation of methods that increase students’ access to learning and large-scale achievement test, and (c) the assessment of school leadership. His scholarly and professional contributions have been recognized by research colleagues as evidenced by his election as Fellow in four divisions of the American Psychological Association and selection as an APA Senior Scientist in 2009. In 2008, he was selected as a Fellow in the American Educational Research Association for his "sustained achievement in education research." Steve consults with national assessment leaders on the assessment and instruction of PreK-12 students, servers on several editorial boards of professional journals, and currently serves on Educational Testing Services’ (ETS) Visiting Research Panel and Executive Committee for the Survey Assessment Innovation Laboratory.