Kathleen Comfort is currently the Principal Investigator and Director of the Partnership for the Assessment of Standards-based Science (PASS) at WestEd. She was also Principal Investigator and Project Director of two National Science Foundation–supported research projects: Research in Standards-based Science Assessment (RISSA) and the PASS/California Systemic Initiatives Collaborative Data Study. Prior to her work at WestEd, Ms. Comfort directed the science assessment portion of the California Department of Education statewide testing programs, and served as a Senior Research Associate for Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She has also served as: Coordinator of the Shasta County Assessment System; Science Education Specialist; mentor teacher; and classroom teacher.
Ms. Comfort has served on numerous national science assessment committees, panels and reviews and has published articles, reports and documents on performance assessment in science. She has also consulted to other states in the development of large-scale science assessment programs. Ms. Comfort has served as a committee member on the National Research Council (NRC) Life Science Design Team for the Conceptual Framework for New K-12 Science Education Standards, and on the Working Group on Assessment for the National Science Education Standards; as a committee member on the NRC Addendum on Classroom Assessment to the National Science Education Standards; as editor of the AAAS publication, This Year in School Science; and as a member of the NRC Committee on Science Education K-12, and the NRC Board on Science Education. She is currently serving as the National Project manager for the United States for the international Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills. Ms. Comfort received her B.A. from the College of New Jersey, and her M.Ed. from Western Washington University.