As an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Rodriguez’s mission is to enhance school policies, programs, and outcomes by designing testing methods that are more accurate, efficient, and non-discriminatory. Much of his work focuses on assessments for students with disabilities or those who are disadvantaged, with the goal of generating data that can better inform decision-making for school personnel and families of the children they teach. He has worked with the St. Paul Public Schools, the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, USAID, and the Ministry of Education in Guatemala.
“I love teaching. I probably teach more than I should, but it is my way of making a real difference in the world, by preparing my students to improve educational outcomes for children and families,” Rodriguez says. “I teach to improve educational decision-making, the field of educational measurement, and education more broadly.” He also invites students to serve as “psychometricians-in- training” in the research he does, and he’s developed a group to give them a forum for practicing their professional conference presentations. “This venue afforded [us] an opportunity… to critically and constructively review proposed research—a vital characteristic of thriving research-intensive environments,” says a student.
Rodriguez has been recognized for his passion. He was a 2009 recipient of the Award for Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education, one of the University’s highest annual teaching honors. In 2013, he was appointed to the Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development.