James McCann M.S.
has worked in the field of education both in and out of the classroom. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in elementary education with a concentration in mathematics from the University of Maine and a Master’s of Science degree in educational psychology from George Mason University. Currently he is an educational consultant based in New Hampshire and assists clients with their assessment, curriculum, and data analysis needs. After completing his undergraduate degree, Jim began his career in education serving as a fifth grade teacher in Stafford Virginia, a suburb of Washington D.C. He was tasked with guiding students through a curriculum spanning mathematics, reading/language arts, science, and social studies. His lessons were designed to meet the needs of the students while also falling in line with the standards mandated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a teacher, Jim enjoyed the opportunity to directly influence and guide the educational experiences of his students. However, during this time he became aware of discrepancies between the educational policies and the needs of his students. Jim developed the goal of using his knowledge and experience as an educator to support the educational system in accurately meeting the needs of students and educators. In pursuit of this goal, Jim accepted a position with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, D.C. The focus of his work with AIR was the creation of standards based mathematics assessments for the states of Ohio, Hawaii, Delaware, South Carolina, New Mexico, and Minnesota. Additionally while with AIR, he became responsible for all development goals for the alternate assessments of South Carolina, New Mexico, Delaware, and Minnesota. This required him to have a full understanding of their standards for each content area as well as how they were taught and assessed in the classroom. In his role at AIR, Jim was able to integrate his knowledge of classroom instruction with state assessment standards, developing assessments for students that aimed to provide fair and accurate measures of students' progress and educational needs. While serving at AIR, Jim attended George Mason University where he completed a Master’s of Science program in educational psychology with a concentration in assessment, testing, and evaluation. The focus of this program was on the creation and development of assessments ranging from classroom to statewide and included analysis of the benefits and limitations of educational assessment. Jim also developed expertise in many of the past and present educational theories and explored the relationships between educational policy and theory, and its impact on the classroom. Jim has recently returned to New England, where he began his career in education. He presently resides in a rural community in New Hampshire and works as an educational consultant. In this role, Jim maintains contracts with educational assessment firms, through which he continues to influence the development of standardized educational measures. Additionally, he is now able to serve local communities, offering consultation to schools in order to enhance the understanding, implementation, and integration of educational policies, curriculum, and data. Jim understands that assessment is a vital element within the field of education and that it is crucial for school districts, schools, and teachers to have an understanding of how to develop and interpret assessments. He draws upon his background and firsthand experience to provide those seeking consultation with a rich understanding of how to optimize the tools of assessment.