Dr. William Skorupski Joins Amira Learning As Chief Psychometrician

Amira’s rapid growth continues with addition of leading psychometrician

January 14, 2019

Amira Learning, the company re-inventing learning to read with AI, announced today that Dr. William Skorupski has been named Chief Psychometrician. The company, based in San Francisco, CA, is an emerging leader in early literacy assessment.    Amira automates oral reading fluency testing and is the first assessment able to measure student mastery levels by listening to students read.

Dr. Skorupski brings to Amira psychometric expertise in all areas of assessment – from test design to psychometric analysis to reporting.   Billy previously served as Director of Next Generation Assessments at industry leader ACT.   He also served as a long-time consultant to Renaissance Learning, helping to improve the reliability & validity of STAR.  Dr. Skorupski joins other members of the Renaissance R&D team at Amira.

Billy has had a distinguished academic career in the field of psychometrics, holding the position of Associate Professor at the University of Kansas for almost 15 years.   He has published 45 papers in the areas of psychometrics, Item Response Theory, and Bayesian statistics.  His research has explored the use of Multiple Item Response Theory (MIRT) to improve student assessment, identifying test fraud and standard-setting.

Amira is pioneering early literacy assessment based on automated observation of students reading.  The software is able to listen to young children read, discerning miscues and mining the speech stream for clues about reading mastery.  The Amira Assessment produces standard measures like ORF, while also producing deep diagnostic information, delivering insight vital to enabling teacher’s to differentiate and personalize instruction.   

“Amira’s rapid growth continues with Billy’s addition to our R&D team, said Pete Jungwirth, Co-Founder and CTO at Amira. “Billy adds psychometric depth to our world-class team of data scientists and AI experts.    His focus will be on deepening our capacity to measure student growth and reading mastery using a combination of AI and psychometrics.”

Early Literacy assessment today is manual, inconsistent, time-consuming for teachers, demotivating for students and an overall distraction from instruction.  Dr. Skorupski will lead Amira’s continuing effort to re-invent early literacy assessment, combining the best features of direct observation with computer-adaptive testing (CAT).

Billy maintains active involvement in the psychometric community by presenting at industry conferences. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychometrics at Amherst, and holds a BS in Educational Research from Bucknell. 

About Amira Learning

Amira Learning is re-inventing learning to read with AI.  Amira is the first interactive avatar able to assess, read along with and coach developmental readers and is led by the former senior technical managers at Renaissance Learning, the leader in Reading Assessment and Practice software in K-12 classrooms. In field research conducted by leading Universities, Amira has demonstrated the ability to help children grow as much as giving each child their own certified human tutor.  For a personalized demo of Amira, email info@amiralearning.com.

Media Contact

If you would like more information about this topic, please email Mark Angel at mark.angel@amiralearning.com 

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