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Meet the Research Team

Learn more about the people who lead Pearson’s Test, Measurement & Research Services team.


Jon Twing | Karen Squires Foelsch | Kimberly O’Malley | Walter (Denny) Way


Jon Twing

EVP and Chief Measurement Officer

Dr. Jon S. Twing, Executive Vice President and Chief Measurement Officer, has more than 30 years of experience in psychometrics and assessment development. In his current role, Dr. Twing is focused on the development, validity, and efficacy of learning systems that integrate measurement and instruction. He is responsible for Pearson’s Test, Measurement and Research Services (TMRS) group as well as the Pearson Research Center Network.

Dr. Twing provides oversight for an organization of more than 650 content specialists, editors, assessment consultants, statistical analysts, and research scientists, many of whom have advanced degrees. His staff members are responsible for all content development and psychometric functions (e.g., scaling, equating, DIF analyses and legal defensibility) for state assessment programs and educational assessments. Dr. Twing also supports Pearson’s international work providing measurement expertise to various organizations like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Abu Dhabi Education Council, The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in India, and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

Dr. Twing has made numerous presentations to education agencies and officials regarding all aspects of test development, measurement best practice, and statistical research and evaluation (including computerized testing and the migration of currently implemented paper and pencil tests to a computerized testing environment, legal defensibility, scaling and equating, validity, reliability, generalizability, and other research). His presentations have included such diverse audiences as the American Educational Research Association, the National Council on Measurement in Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers meeting on large-scale assessment, and the annual Texas Assessment Conference.

Dr. Twing serves on the College Board Psychometric Panel and provides consulting services to the industry. He also has presented to numerous state legislative committees, federal legislators, and the White House.

Dr. Twing provides leadership and guidance for Pearson business strategy, and he is a member of the Assessments and Instruction leadership team, providing guidance and direction for overall growth strategy, publishing strategy, and business development.

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Karen Squires Foelsch

Senior Vice President, Test, Measurement and Research Services

Karen Squires Foelsch leads day-to-day business and financial operations of the over 600-person Test, Measurement and Research Services group. She manages budget/financial and administrative processes, supports business development, oversees vendor management, directs copyrights and permissions, and guides business process re-engineering. She brings over 20 years of business and management experience to the team. In her over ten years in TMRS, she has been responsible the creation, build-out and continued growth of the TMRS organization and advises the TMRS leadership team on organizational structure, staffing levels and recruiting, and general business processes.

Ms. Foelsch has represented Pearson as Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Education Division of the Association of Test Publishers. She is a current member of the Association of Test Publishers and Council of Chief State School Officers working group revising the Operational Best Practices for Statewide Large-scale Assessment Programs.

Ms. Foelsch joined Pearson in 1999 as Director, Information Technology Services, Assessment & Information, after 12 years with Monsanto Company in a variety of Information Technology positions. She has taken graduate courses in Educational Measurement and Statistics from the University of Iowa. Ms. Foelsch holds an MBA from the Olin School of Business Executive Program at Washington University, which included Asia-Pacific Business Studies and International Business and Economics Program, as well as a B.S. and honorary Professional Degree in Computer Science from Missouri University of Science and Technology.

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Kimberly O’Malley

SVP, Research and Development

Kimberly O’Malley, PhD, leads Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network. In this role, Dr. O’Malley develops the research roadmap to guide present and future research efforts across North America. The research mission for the Network is to create, connect, and communicate research that will inspire learners to reach their goals and potential through products, services, and measures that are tailored to individual learner needs, digitally delivered, designed to enhance learning, index individual progress, and are backed by evidence showing they improve student outcomes.

Dr. O’Malley’s responsibilities include:

  • promoting research on new approaches to teach students and instructors better ways to learn now and in the future through the use of technology enhanced feedback cycles,
  • developing validity frameworks for gathering data to support the uses of Pearson’s products and services,
  • supporting collaborations and cohesive strategies using research and innovations so that learners’ particular needs can be addressed with evidence-based solutions,
  • producing actionable data so learners, teachers, and parents can take immediate action to improve each learner’s learning path, and
  • making technology useful and transparent in the learning process.

Specific areas of research that the research team is conducting include adaptive testing and algorithms, innovative items and measures, measurement improvements, policy and international issues, special populations and accommodations, and student growth and teacher effectiveness. Dr. O’Malley’s work has been published in journals such as Applied Measurement in EducationEducational Measurement: Issues and Practice, and The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. O’Malley’s research expertise is in topics such as student growth models, new applications of standard-setting methods, measurement for English learners, and transitioning assessment systems. Dr. O’Malley is a public school teacher who taught students in general education, students in special education, and English learners.

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Walter (Denny) Way

SVP Psychometric & Research Services

Denny Way, PhD, is responsible for content, psychometrics, and supporting assessment technology within Pearson’s Assessment & Instruction group. Dr. Way spent 16 years with Educational Testing Service in a variety of technical and management roles. He has directed research and operational psychometrics for testing programs in higher education admissions, licensure and certification, and statewide K-12 assessment.

He received a PhD in Educational Measurement and Applied Statistics from the University of Iowa in 1988 and has been an active member of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) since 1985. Dr. Way has served as an Advisory Editor for the Journal of Educational Measurement and is currently a member of the committee revising the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Dr. Way’s research interests include equating and scaling, computer-based and computerized adaptive testing, and applications of technology to large-scale assessment.

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