Alexander Kurz

T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics
308I Payne Hall
Research Assistant Professor
TEMPE Campus
Affiliate Faculty Member; Assistant Research Professor of the Sanford School
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.



Reddy, L. A., Glover, T. A., Kurz, A., Elliott, S. N. (in press). Assessing the effectiveness and interactions of instructional coaches: Initial psychometric evidence for the iCoach assessments. Assessment for Effective Intervention.

Kettler, R. J., Reddy, L. A., Glover, T. A., & Kurz, A. (in press). Bridging-the-gap: Classroom strategies assessment system-observer form. Assessment for Effective Intervention.

Reddy, L. A., Dudek, C. M., Peters, S., Alperin, A., Kettler, R. J., & Kurz, A. (2017). Teachers’ and school administrators’ attitudes and beliefs of teacher evaluation: A preliminary investigation of high poverty school districts. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s11092-017-9263-3

Kurz, A., Reddy, L. A., & Glover, T. A. (2017). A multidisciplinary framework of instructional coaching. Theory Into Practice, 56, 66-77. doi.10.1080/00405841.2016.1260404

Elliott, S. N., Kurz, A., Tindal, J., & Yel, N. (2017). Influence of opportunity to learn indices and education status on students’ mathematics achievement growth. Remedial and Special Education, 38(3), 145-158. doi:0.1177/0741932516663000

Glover, T. A., Reddy, L. A., Kettler, R. J., Kurz, A., & Lekwa, A. (2016) Improving high-stakes
decisions via formative assessment, professional development, and comprehensive educator evaluation: The School System Improvement Project. Teachers College Record, 118(14), 1-26. 

Yarbro, J., McKnight, K., Elliott, S. E., Kurz, A., & Wardlow, L. (2016). Digital instructional strategies and their role in classroom earning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 8(4), 274-289. doi:10.1080/15391523.2016.1212632

Reddy, L. A., Dudek, C. M., Kettler, R. J., Kurz, A., & Peters, S. (2016). Measuring educators’ attitudes and beliefs about evaluation: Initial evidence for the Teacher Evaluation Experience Scale. Educational Assessment, 21(2), 120-134. doi:10.1080/10627197.2016.1167592

Kurz, A., Elliott, S. N., & Roach, A. T. (2015). Addressing the missing instructional data problem: Using a teacher log to document Tier 1 instruction. Remedial and Special Education, 36(6), 361-373. doi:10.1177/0741932514567365

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 (
  • AzPREP Internship Program for Applied Data Analysis and Collective Impact, Director/Supervisor (2014 - Present)
  • Arizona Practitioner-Researcher Educational Partnership (AzPREP) Office, Director (2013 - Present)
  • Arizona Practitioner-Researcher Educational Partnership (AzPREP), Director (2013 - 2015)