Irwin Kirsch is the Ralph Tyler Chair in Large Scale Assessment and director of the Center for Global Assessment at ETS. In his role as director of the center he oversees several teams of research scientists, assessment designers and platform engineers who are responsible for the development, and management and implementation of large-scale national and international assessments.
Over the course of his career, he has worked in close collaboration with a number of states and national and international organizations including the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, the World Bank, UNESCO, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He currently oversees the development and conduct of the two largest international assessments that provide policy makers and key stakeholders with national and international comparative data on literacy and workforce preparedness—the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
In addition to his assessment work, Kirsch is a member of the ETS research management team, serves on the board of a nonprofit literacy organization, and is a reviewer for several journals. He has also published numerous research articles and book chapters dealing with issues around designing, developing, and interpreting cognitive-based scales and has written a number of policy reports using large-scale assessment data that focus on the growing importance of skills and their connections to life outcomes. As part of his interest in this area, Kirsch has conducted research on using evidence-centered design principles to link learning and assessment.