Topol and ASG colleagues Ed Roeber and John Olson authored a ground breaking paper in 2010, “The Cost of New, Higher Quality Assessments: A Comprehensive Review of the Potential Costs for Future State Assessments.” The paper has become a foundation in the assessment industry for delivery methodologies and strategies necessary in developing and administering affordable, high quality assessments. Topol/ASG’s expertise in assessment and accountability systems design, as well as its Assessment Cost Model were key factors in SBAC, PARCC, WIDA and NCSC using ASG to help design and price their proposed assessment systems under the Race to the Top Assessment grant competition. Since that time, Topol and ASG have assisted several states, foundations, non-profits and others in the areas of assessment design and costing, various research and analysis projects and other technical studies.
Topol has presented at congressional staffer briefings, industry working meetings, state board of education meetings, local government meetings and state consortia governing board meetings. He has worked with Universities, non-profits, foundations and others on the subject of assessment/accountability systems design and costing. Topol has consulted with numerous industry players on the future of the assessment industry, the role of technology in assessment delivery and assessment industry strategy development. He has developed excellent relationships throughout the industry and currently surveys roughly 40 states on various assessment and accountability system features, costs and practices. He has also worked with several school districts and collected assessment and accountability information from them as well.
Topol has worked as a Chief Financial Officer for several major corporations and small companies and as an independent consultant. From 2005-2008 he was CFO for a major educational publishing company where he led a major financial turnaround and was part of the senior management team that ultimately revamped, revitalized and sold a company that previously had been on life support. His expertise includes activity based costing, turnaround situations, detailed financial and operational analysis, strategic planning and leadership and team-building.
Topol is adept at working with existing teams to upgrade performance and generate detailed financial and operational analyses used to improve performance. He has developed numerous cost models for educational assessments and has experience negotiating new pricing frameworks for assessment services. He is a skilled negotiator and communicator, working effectively with management, vendors and other constituents on behalf of the represented entity.
Mr. Topol has an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA where he was an Edward W. Carter Fellow and the Charles Offer Foundation Fellow. He also has a BA in Economics from UCLA where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his CPA license in 1989.
Barry Topol is a strategic and operationally oriented Financial Executive with over 25 years of executive level experience. He is currently Managing Partner of Assessment Solutions Group (ASG), a firm providing assessment cost, management and state accountability systems analysis and consulting to states, universities and other non-profit institutions.
Since forming ASG in 2009, Topol and ASG have worked with a number of different states and assessment consortia to assist them in designing their assessment and accountability systems to be more effective and efficient, written RFPs for assessment services and evaluated vendor RFP submissions. Additionally the firm has worked with universities, foundations and other non-profits on a variety of research based studies and analyses. Of particular note, Topol designed ASG’s Assessment Cost Model, the only model in the industry that can be used to determine the appropriate price for any assessment.