Cindy M. Walker

Cindy Walker

Dean and Professor
School of Education
Office of the Dean

107 Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1360


Ph.D., Educational Psychology; Area: Statistics and Measurement, University of Illinois, 1998
M.S., Mathematics; Minor: Mathematics Education, Illinois State University, 1995
B.S., Major: Mathematics; Minor: Computer Science, Roosevelt University, 1989

Dr. Cindy M. Walker is the Dean of the School of Education. She is also a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership and has taught courses in educational and psychological measurement, statistics, research design, and program evaluation.

She conducts research in the area of testing and measurement. Her research focuses primarily on applied issues in psychometrics, especially those related to item response theory. Walker has worked with the Certification and Skills Assessment team at Microsoft Corporation, the Office of the Superintendent of Instruction in the state of Washington, the Division of Research and Assessment at Milwaukee Public School District, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the WI Department of Public Instruction, the National Science Foundation, Junior Achievement of Southeastern WI, the Center for Self-Sufficiency, Appleton Public Library, and many local school districts in Southeastern WI. Moreover, she has extensive experience conduction program evaluations, designing research studies and sound measurement tools, and working with large testing databases, such as TIMSS, NAEP, PISA and those associated with states and districts.

Walker has published on the topics of differential item functioning, multi-dimensional item response theory, and computer adaptive testing in journals including Journal of Educational Measurement, International Journal of Testing, and Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. Her interest in psychometrics is enhanced by her interest in how children learn and are assessed in a constructivist mathematics classroom. Walker received a B.S in mathematics, with a minor in Computer Science, from Roosevelt University; an M.S. in mathematics education from Illinois State University; and a Ph.D. in quantitative research methodologies from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.

Selected Publications

Schapira, M. M., Walker, C. M., Miller, T., Ganschow, P. S., Fletcher, K. E., McGinley, E. L., Del Pozo, S., Schauer, C., Tarima, S., Jacobs, E. A. (under review). Development and validation of the Numeracy Understanding in Medicine Instrument (NUMi) Short Form. Journal of Health Communication, 32, 851-55.

Schapira, M. M., Walker, C. M., Cappaert, K. J., Ganschow, P. S., Fletcher, K. E., McGinley, E. L., Del Pozo, S., Schauer, C., Tarima, S., Jacobs, E. A. (2012). The Numeracy Understanding in Medicine Instrument (NUMi): A measure of health numeracy. Journal of Medical Decision Making, 32, 851-55.

Walker, C. M., Zhang, B., Banks, K. & Cappaert, K. (2012). Establishing effect size guidelines for interpreting the results of differential bundle functioning analyses using SIBTEST. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 72, 415-434.

Beretvas, S. N. & Walker, C. M. (2012). Distinguishing differential testlet functioning from differential bundle functioning using the multilevel measurement model. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 72, 182-199.

Walker, C. M. (2011). What's the DIF? Why differential item functioning analyses are an important part of instrument development and validation. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 29, 364-376.

Azen R. & Walker, C. M. (2011). Categorical Data Analysis for the Social Sciences. Taylor & Francis, New York, NY.


2013 Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

2010 Recipient of the Service Award, School of Education, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Professional Services

Walker recently completed a three-year term on the board of the National Council of Measurement in Education, that began in April 2013. She served as the secretary for Division D (Measurement and Research Methodology) of the American Educational Research Association from 2009-2011. She is currently an Associate Editor for Applied Psychological Measurement, and is on the Editorial Board of the journal of Applied Measurement in Education. She serves as an ad hoc reviewer for multiple journals focusing on psychometrics.