Independent education consultant Damian Cooper specializes in helping schools and school districts improve their instructional and assessment skills. In his varied career, Cooper has been a secondary English and Drama teacher, a department head, a librarian, a school consultant and a curriculum developer. He has specialized in student assessment for the past nineteen years. Most recently, as assessment consultant to the School Division of Nelson Thomson Learning, Damian developed all of the assessment material for Nelson Mathematics – Elementary. Prior to that appointment, he was Coordinator of Assessment and Evaluation for the Halton District School Board in Burlington, Ontario.
A dynamic, entertaining speaker, Damian Cooper has worked with school administrators, superintendents and teachers on all aspects of assessment, including the analysis and use of large-scale assessment data, portfolio assessment, performance assessment, and reporting procedures. Cooper is a frequent speaker at major conferences, including Reading For the Love of It and Assess To Learn. In 1997, he was a member of the Canadian delegation invited by Nelson Mandela’s government to establish a national curriculum and assessment framework for South Africa. Recently, Damian has been working with school districts in Ohio, Michigan, Iowa and Hawaii to help improve assessment practices in their elementary and secondary schools.
In Ontario, Cooper has worked under contract to the Ministry of Education and the Assessment Training Consortium on a variety of projects. As co-developer of the Ontario Assessment Instrument Pool (OAIP) for students in Basic Level programs, Damien helped introduce the concept of visual targets to educators in this province. Damian developed and delivered some of the earliest workshops involving data-based decision-making. After studying with Rick Stiggins and Grant Wiggins, he was instrumental in introducing qualitative and performance-based assessment to Ontario educators. Cooper also served on the executive of the Association of Educational Researchers of Ontario (AERO) from 1997-2002.
Damian Cooper and his partner, Nanci Wakeman-Jones, co-authored both Getting Assessment Right: Language and Getting Assessment Right: Mathematics for Data-Based Directions. Damian‘s latest project, Talk About Assessment, a resource book and DVD published by Thomson Nelson in 2006, is a must-have resource for every teacher. Damian and his colleagues have also developed GradePARtner, a state-of-the-art, web-based program for planning, assessment tracking, and reporting that is currently being piloted in several jurisdictions.