Over a decade of research and field experience. The leading source of student feedback for K-12 educators.

Created by Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson of Harvard University in 2001, Tripod™ began as a bridge from research to practice for teachers working to raise achievement levels and narrow gaps. It has evolved into the most trusted product of its kind, used widely around the nation. Tripod was the only student survey studied and validated by the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and completed in 2013.

Tripod Student Surveys

Tripod is the nation’s leading provider of classroom-level survey assessments for K-12 education. Tripod surveys are in their 18th generation, refined over more than a decade of field experience and in response to valuable feedback from educators. Tripod’s research and analytics deliver valuable insights about teaching practices, student engagement, and school climate. We use a database of millions of survey responses to calibrate results against broadly anchored norms, and the Tripod reporting platform presents engaging feedback for educators to promote school improvement and professional learning.

Our Team

Ronald F. Ferguson


Ron created Tripod and continues to lead all research. He is the Faculty Co-Chair and Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1983. Much of his research since the mid-1990s has focused on racial achievement gaps, appearing in publications of the National Research Council, the Brookings Institution, and the US Department of Education, in addition to various books and scholarly journals. Ron has a B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from MIT, both in economics.

Rob Ramsdell


Rob began his career as a high school social studies teacher and went on to found FreshPond Education in 1996. Rob and Ron began their collaboration on Tripod in 2005, working together on key partnerships and product development. Rob also spent three years as the Senior Director of PBS TeacherLine and served as a Vice President at Cambridge Education for six years. He has a B.A. from Brown University, an M.A. from Teachers College at Columbia University, and an M.Ed. from Harvard University.

Sarah Fierberg Phillips


Sarah’s scholarship is informed by more than a decade of experience as a teacher, community organizer, and non-profit leader. At Tripod, she directs our research agenda and oversees the development of new scoring techniques and on-going instrument revisions. Sarah has a B.A. from Brown University, an M.S.W. from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Social Policy from Brandeis University.

Alka Pateriya


After starting her career as a teacher and administrator, Alka has focused on working to support districts implementing the Trial Urban District Assessment of NAEP and the Measures of Effective Teaching project, where she met Rob and Ron. At Tripod, she oversees K-12 partnerships and the client services team. She has a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.Ed. from George Washington University.

Sheamus McGovern


Sheamus oversees the development of the Tripod online data collection, analysis, and reporting platform. For the past 15 years Sheamus has designed applications and data analytics for companies in Boston and Europe. He is also the founder of the Boston Data Mining meet up. Sheamus has a B.S. from Northeastern University, an M.S. from Boston University, and an M.L.A. from Harvard.