Skip to content


static image

Shawnee Cohn, Discovery Education

Silver Spring, Md. (January 21, 2014) – Discovery Education has named Dr. Karen Barton senior director psychometric scientist, helping lead the company’s efforts to integrate the effective use of data seamlessly into all products and services in order to inform classroom instruction. With more than 20 years of experience in the education field, Dr. Barton will serve as the assessment and learning analytics expert for Discovery Education, working to ensure the most comprehensive and instructionally relevant programs are provided to school district partners across the country.

In this new role, Dr. Barton will oversee the development of instructionally relevant assessment resources and lead Discovery Education’s innovation in the infusion of formative learning processes throughout all services. In addition to establishing protocols for collection of data across Discovery Education’s assessment programs and the Techbook series, Dr. Barton will provide collaborative leadership on strategy to ensure districts are well supported in their implementation of the Common Core State Standards through useful assessment and instructional tools. Dr. Barton will also play a critical role in the development of the Discovery Education Math Techbook, scheduled for beta release in early 2014. 

Dr. Barton joins Discovery Education from CTB/McGraw-Hill, where she served as principal research scientist and senior manager and was responsible for the psychometric quality of assessment content, design, results, and policies. In that position, Dr. Barton was lead psychometrician for multiple statewide large-scale and alternate assessments and helped develop innovations in technology enhanced items, evidence centered item design, and an automated personalized learning program. She also served as lead on issues of accommodations, universal design, and testing issues for students with disabilities and English-language learners.

Prior to joining CTB/McGraw-Hill, Dr. Barton worked as an assessment specialist at the South Carolina Department of Education, as well as a supervisor of student teachers at the University of South Carolina and College of Charleston. She began her career as a special education teacher for students with emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities.

Among her many industry achievements, Dr. Barton currently sits on the editorial board at Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. She has served as program co-chair of the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), and as guest lecturer at multiple universities.

She received her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Special Education from Longwood University in Virginia. Dr. Barton also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Measurement from the University of South Carolina.

“Dr. Barton’s expertise in education and assessment will be a tremendous asset to Discovery Education as we strive to provide educators with the tools necessary to inform instruction and drive student achievement,” said Kelli Campbell, senior vice president at Discovery Education. “We are honored to have such a strong, respected female leader in the science field joining our research and analytics team.”

For more information about Discovery Education services and resources, visit


About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at