Our History

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  • Denis Jarvinen, Ph.D.

    PRESIDENT

Better Learning Through Better Testing

In developing custom assessment solutions, one of SME's primary goals is to incorporate local educators into the assessment development process. It has been our experience that when teachers, principals, and administrators are trained to create their own high-quality assessment materials, these educators take meaningful control of local assessments and are better prepared to use the resulting data to effect positive changes in student learning.

 

SME delivers a full range of assessment, scoring, evaluation, and professional development services to support these outcomes. Our growth over the past decade is a testament to the passion and expertise we bring to each project and to the satisfaction of our clients.

 

Contact us to learn more about our methods and to join our journey.

Company Milestones

Company Was Founded

October 2006

Off to a Strong Start

March 2007

Two Locations

April 2008

The Operation Expanded

September 2008

A Reputation for Innovation

October 2008

Mobile Scoring Center Added

January 2009

Prime Contractor for
District- and State-Level Assessment Work

2010 – Today

Scaling the Custom Development Process

May 2015

The Five Skill Project Begins

April 2018

Moving Forward

January 2020

Company Was Founded

October 2006

Founded in 2006 by Denis Jarvinen, Ph.D., the focus of Strategic Measurement and Evaluation, Inc. (SME) is improving the quality of assessment material, advancing the reliability and validity of assessment scoring, and promoting the effective use of assessment and evaluation data. To accomplish these goals, SME provides assessment design, development, scoring, and psychometric services to large school districts, state education agencies, and private corporations across the United States.
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Off to a Strong Start March 2007

Off to a Strong Start

March 2007

SME is selected by a national non-profit foundation to conduct assessment system audits of major school districts across the United States (e.g., Cleveland Municipal School District, New Haven Public Schools, Pasadena Unified Schools, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, and more). The results are used to realign assessment work in each district. SME is selected by Oakland (California) Unified School District to conduct multi-year evaluation of the district’s New Small Schools...
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Two LocationsApril 2008

Two Locations

April 2008

SME maintains offices in Lafayette, Indiana and Champaign, Illinois—two university communities with a highly educated workforce. These offices house SME's full-time staff and each site includes a performance assessment scoring center. Across the two facilities, the scoring centers have approximately 150 web-enabled scoring workstations.
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The Operation Expanded

September 2008

In addition to our core staff, SME contracts with content specialists based on the needs of individual projects. Over the series of development projects SME has completed, the organization has developed a pool of talented item writers, editors and content specialists who are utilized as needed.
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A Reputation for InnovationOctober 2008

A Reputation for Innovation

October 2008

When the New York City Charter Schools Center sought a vendor to transition the scoring of the New York State ELA and Math tests from a paper-based approach to electronic scoring, they selected SME as their primary contractor to achieve the transition. The final SME scoring solution not only met the needs of the client and the requirements of the New York State Education Department, but it did so in...
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Mobile Scoring Center AddedJanuary 2009

Mobile Scoring Center Added

January 2009

SME added a mobile scoring center with over 300 laptops, transportable server stations, and related project equipment. SME is able to use this mobile scoring center to provide extra capacity for existing projects or as a stand-alone scoring center for specific projects.
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Prime Contractor for District- and State-Level Assessment Work2010 – Today

Prime Contractor for
District- and State-Level Assessment Work

2010 – Today

As a full-service assessment company, SME is selected to provide content development and psychometric support for district- and state-level assessment programs in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Depending on the project, SME is directly involved in the development, printing, distribution, analysis, and reporting of assessment products.
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Scaling the Custom Development Process

May 2015

SME is selected by Baltimore County Public Schools to guide the district in building new district-wide unit assessments for grades K-10. SME partners with and trains over 200 teachers and curriculum leaders to work collaboratively on the development of high-quality tests aligned directly to district curriculum and pacing guides. SME provides the technical expertise to ensure the final assessments meet professional assessment standards for validity, reliability and fairness.
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The Five Skill Project BeginsApril 2018

The Five Skill Project Begins

April 2018

Feedback from private-school clients indicates a real need for an updated high school placement test. SME focuses its content and technical resources on developing a new online placement test that will take advantage of the opportunities offered via an online delivery platform. These advantages include updated content standards, augmented security, the utilization of technology-enhanced items, and the inclusion of an authentic writing task. Field testing began in 2018 and the...
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Moving Forward

January 2020

January 2020 SME will continue to engage in projects that require a range of assessment expertise. We will continue to partner with districts seeking to develop custom assessments, to enhance the assessment literacy of local educators, and to receive a personalized assessment or evaluation experience linked directly to local needs and outcomes. We will continue to empower district staff to take control of local assessments and to prepare them to...
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What Makes Us Unique

What makes SME different from other assessment companies is that SME does not begin with a set of one-size-fits-all assessment products. Rather, SME works closely with its clients to develop customized assessment solutions that meet local needs. In doing this work, SME seeks to highlight the connections between assessment and instruction and the role assessment data can play in improving student achievement.

We develop new, unique content every year to ensure the validity of tests.

Our online platform eliminates the risks involved with paper-based testing.

We use state-of the-art psychometric analysis to assess function and comparability of scores.

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High School Teacher Talking To Pupils Using Digital Devices In Technology Class
About Our Services
  • Develop valid, reliable, and fair assessments and rubrics.
  • Use data to improve classroom instruction and learning.
  • Empower educators with increased assessment literacy.
  • Create and validate measures to inform policy decisions.
  • Have access to high-speed, secure scanning for testing materials.

Our Core Team

Denis Jarvinen, Ph.D
Denis Jarvinen, Ph.D
President and CEO
Mona Stivers
Mona Stivers
Senior Project Manager
Melissa McCandless
Melissa McCandless
Senior Project Manager
Charles Walters
Charles Walters
Senior Project Manager
Edward Coyle
Edward Coyle
Project Manager
Jessica Underwood
Jessica Underwood
Project Manager / Human Resources
Jeffrey Gratt
Jeffrey Gratt
Graphic Artist
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