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Shannon Riley-Ayers

Shannon Riley-Ayers

Associate Research Professor P: (848) 932-4350 x23160 F: (732) 932-4360

Shannon Riley-Ayers, Ph.D., Associate Research Professor at NIEER, has been working in early childhood education for her entire career, spanning more than 20 years.  Her experience as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, state education systems co-director, pre-service teacher educator, professional development instructor, and researcher makes her a well-rounded leader of projects.  She conducts research and provides technical assistance in preschool through grade three with a focus on teaching quality, assessment, and professional learning.   She led the writing and implementation of the New Jersey First through Third Grade Implementation Guidelines.  She is co-author with Dorothy Strickland of the policy brief Early Literacy: Policy and Practice in the Early Years (NIEER) and the book Literacy Leadership in Early Childhood: The Essential Guide (Teachers College Press). She is first author of the Early Learning Scale (NIEER), a comprehensive performance-based assessment system for preschool and kindergarten. Dr. Riley-Ayers is part of the senior management team at The Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) where she provides technical assistance to state education agencies in early childhood education.  She presents her work at professional conferences such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the American Education Research Association. Before joining NIEER, Shannon was co-director of the Office of Early Literacy at the New Jersey Department of Education and was instrumental in developing and implementing the New Jersey Early Literacy Initiative. She is a certified teacher and reading specialist, with several years of experience in public school classrooms. She holds an M.Ed. in language and literacy and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from The Pennsylvania State University.  Follow @riley_ayers.