Alexander Kurz

Associate Research Professor
TEMPE Campus


Alexander Kurz, a native of Germany, received his doctorate in special education from Vanderbilt University in 2011. He has studied in Germany and the United States, earning degrees in special education and philosophy. Prior to entering academia, he worked as a special education teacher, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and psychometric research analyst for Discovery Education Assessment. His graduate work focused on behavior disorders, applied behavior analysis, educational measurement, and the inclusion of students with disabilities in test-based accountability.

Professor Kurz has published over 40 articles and chapters on opportunity-to-learn (OTL), instructional coaching, alignment, accessibility, and testing accommodations. He has co-edited the "Handbook of Accessible Achievement Tests" and his work has appeared in books such as the "Handbook of Educational Psychology" and journals such as Exceptional Children, Applied Measurement in Education, and the Journal of Special Education. His dissertation led to the development of the Instructional Learning Opportunities Guidance System (MyiLOGS), a use-inspired OTL measurement tool. In 2011, he was awarded the Bonsal Applied Education Research Award for the large-scale relevance of his educational innovation.


Ph.D. Special Education, Vanderbilt University 2011 

Research Interests

Dr. Kurz's research focuses on improving the teaching effectiveness of general and special education teachers through data-based decision making, job-embedded professional development, and instructional coaching. He is a leading expert on opportunity-to-learn (OTL), who has published extensively on the topic. He currently leads several federally funded research projects related to school improvement (SIRPP), OTL and student growth (NCAASE), formative assessment of teacher instruction and student achievement (I2PM), and teacher evaluation (SSI Project) together with colleagues from the Arizona Department of Education, ASU, University of Oregon, and Rutgers University. He also directs the Arizona Practitioner-Researcher Educational Partnership (AzPREP) Office, which supports educational partnerships between school community stakeholders and researchers seeking answers to practical questions through scientifically rigorous research.



Kurz, A., Reddy, L. A., Kettler, R. J., Glover, T. A., Velasquez, M. K., & Kirtman, L. (2020). Work styles attributes and their relations to instructional coaching behaviors. Journal of Professional Development in Education. Advance online publication.

Reddy, L. A., Hua, A. N., Dudek, C. D., Kettler, R. J., Arnold-Berkovits, I., Lekwa, A., Crouse, K., Kurz, A., & Hu, J. (2019). The relationship between school administrator and teacher ratings of classroom practices on student achievement in high-poverty schools. Assessment for Effective Intervention. Advance online publication.

Arnold-Berkowitz, I., Kurz, A., & Reddy, L. A. (2019). Teacher log of students’ opportunity to learn and classroom observation: An initial investigation of convergence. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability. 31, 97-119.

Elliott, S. N., Kurz, A., & Yel., N. (2019). Opportunity to learn what is on the test and performance on the test. Journal of Special Education, 53(2), 76-84.

Glover, T. A., Kettler, R .J., Reddy, L. A., & Kurz, A. (2019). Formative assessment approaches to inform teacher practices: Key considerations. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 44(2), 67-68.

Glover, T. A., Reddy, L. A., Kurz, A., & Elliott, S. N. (2019). Use of an online platform to facilitate and investigate data-driven instructional coaching. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 44(2), 95-103,

Reddy, L. A., Glover, T. A., Kurz, A., & Elliott, S. N. (2019). Assessing the effectiveness and interactions of instructional coaches: Initial psychometric evidence for the Instructional Coaching Assessments- Teacher Forms. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 44(2), 104-119.

Kettler, R. J., Reddy, L. A., Glover, T. A., & Kurz, A. (2019). Bridging-the-gap: Classroom Strategies Assessment System-Observer Form. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 44(2), 120-122.

Dudek, C. M., Kettler, R. J., Reddy, L. A., & Kurz, A. (2018). Use of multiple assessments for measuring teacher practice: An initial investigation for educational practice. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 8(10), 6-23.

Kettler, R. J., Arnold-Berkovits, I., Reddy, L. A., Kurz, A., Dudek, C. M., Hua, A. N., & Lekwa, A. (2018). Multi-method teacher evaluation for high poverty schools: Observations and self-ratings of instructional and behavioral management. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 59, 224-234.

Reddy, L. A., Dudek, C. M., Peters, S., Alperin, A., Kettler, R. J., & Kurz, A. (2018). Teachers’ and school administrators’ attitudes and beliefs of teacher evaluation: A preliminary investigation of high poverty school districts. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 30, 47-70.

Kurz, A., Reddy, L. A., & Glover, T. A. (2017). A multidisciplinary framework of instructional coaching. Theory Into Practice, 56, 66-77.

Research Activity

  • Kurz,Alexander*. Yr 3: The School System Improvement Project (SSI) 2014. RUTGERS UNIV(10/1/2014 - 9/30/2015).
  • Kurz,Alexander*. Thriving Together Initiative - Arizona Practitioner - Research Educational Partnership. VALLEY OF SUN UNITED WAY(10/1/2014 - 9/30/2015).
  • Elliott,Stephen Nelson, Kurz,Alexander. Integrated Technology Tools for Optimizing Instruction and Assessment Results for Students with Disabilities. ED(10/1/2013 - 9/30/2018).
  • Kurz,Alexander*. What Works for Title I Schools: Understanding the Contributors and Barriers to School Improvement. ED(7/1/2013 - 6/30/2015).
  • Kurz,Alexander*, Kurz,Alexander*. The School System Improvement (SSI). RUTGERS UNIV(10/1/2012 - 9/30/2015).


Elliott, S. N., Kurz, A., Yel, N., & Tindal, G. (2017, April). Mathematics content aligned or not and test performances of students with disabilities. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, San Antonio, TX

Kurz, A. (February, 2017). Educational redemption and instructional coaching. Paper presented at the annual Pacific Research Coast Conference, San Diego, CA.

Kothari, P., Kurz, A., Perrault, P. G., & Sheldahl, J. (2016, October). Equitable data-driven decisions: Creating strong community learning partnerships. Paper presented at the annual meeting for the Grantmakers for Education, Denver, CO.

Yarbro, J., McKnight, K., Elliott, S. E., & Kurz, A. (2016, June). Digital instructional strategies and their role in classroom instruction. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Technology in Education, Denver, CO.



  • Thriving Together (, Director for Data and Research (2014 - Present)
  • Internship Program for Applied Data Analysis for Collective Impact, Director/Supervisor (2014 - Present)
  • Arizona Practitioner-Researcher Educational Partnership (AzPREP) Office, Director (2013 - Present)

COVID-19 information