This year’s conference theme, "Strength in Numbers," is a celebration of a decade of data-informed progress from across our network and an opportunity to discuss our future direction. Join us for our 10th-anniversary celebration. We will look back at the evidence-informed progress we’ve made as a sector but also look forward to the pressing issues of the day. This year the event will take place at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA from May 20–22, 2019. 

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Concurrent Session [clear filter]
Tuesday, May 21

9:30am EDT

An Obstacle for Every Season: Lessons Learned from Changing Postsecondary Advising in 20 Districts
Limited Capacity seats available

The To & Through Advising Challenge engages 20 school districts, charter organizations, and community-based organizations across the country to change the way they do business around postsecondary advising. Grantees develop a plan that addresses postsecondary fit and match, increasing FAFSA completion, and reducing the effects of summer melt and then begin to implement that plan the following year. Second, the National College Access Network seeks qualitative insights about obstacles in the way of accomplishing this work.
This session will examine the challenges and roadblocks and how data coaches attempted to mitigate them. Presenters come from three project constituencies: two members of the leadership team, a postsecondary data coach (and SDP Fellow), and two grantee representatives (one from a school district, one from a community-based organization supporting a district). The panel will share lessons and resources but also seek feedback from the audience.

avatar for Bill DeBaun

Bill DeBaun

Director of Data and Evaluation, National College Access Network
Bill DeBaun is NCAN’s Director of Data and Evaluation. He researches and writes about college access and success programming that demonstrates significant results for students’ college enrollment and graduation rates while additionally providing technical assistance to other initiatives... Read More →

MorraLee Keller

Director of Technical Assistance, National College Access Network
avatar for Amy Fineburg

Amy Fineburg

Advanced Programs Specialist, Jefferson County Board of Education
I supervise AP, dual enrollment, virtual learning, and research programs for Alabama's second-largest school district, which serves over 36,000 students in 56 schools.
avatar for Roxana Del Campo

Roxana Del Campo

Consultant/Grad Student, Research Analyst / Independent Consultant

Kevin Salkas

Interim Director, Career and College Centers, AchieveMpls

Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am EDT
Stratton, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

9:30am EDT

Different Shades of Attendance—Examining Attendance Data beyond ADA and Chronic Absence
Limited Capacity seats available

Attendance is one of the most common data points captured in a local education agency (LEA)’s student information system. Besides the compliance-driven reporting of ADA and chronic absenteeism rates, what are the different shades/facets of attendance data that can provide more insightful data stories? This session intends to draw from three case studies at two LEAs to provide a fresh perspective on the effective use of attendance data in policy-related discussions. How can a comparison of costs-per-attended-hour help an LEA determine the academic return on investment for summer programs? How can class-period attendance data help reveal an attendance pattern for student preference for Physical Education over other courses? How is attendance related to student athletes’ school engagement and overall academic achievement? Our findings will highlight the opportunities and challenges of using administrative attendance data to address questions such as how student engagement can be improved by capitalizing on the attraction of physical activity, and how stakeholders can have a data-driven discussion over resource allocations for summer learning, physical activities and beyond when budget constraints and accountability pressures loom.

avatar for Tim Schmandt

Tim Schmandt

Director of Procurement, Rochester City School District
Tim is a Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma and has taught Cost Management Strategies in over 10 countries. His work has focused on data analysis, experimental design, benchmarking, and finance. He has recently presented Economic Evaluation and Academic Return on Investment strategies... Read More →
avatar for Hannah Page

Hannah Page

Drew Charter School, Director of Data
Hannah is the Director of Data for Drew Charter School, an innovative cradle to career K-12 school in metro Atlanta. In this role, she manages all data and presents regularly to stakeholders. Hannah is particularly interested in how data can support successful equity practices. Previously... Read More →
avatar for Jing Che

Jing Che

Senior Research Analyst, Rochester City School District
Jing Che is a Senior Research Analyst for the Rochester City School District. Prior to her current position, she was an Educational Data Strategist for the Rochester City School District. She is also a Strategic Data Project Cohort 5 Data Fellow. Prior to joining to the school district... Read More →
avatar for Richard DiSalvo

Richard DiSalvo

Graduate Student, University of Rochester
Richard DiSalvo is a PhD candidate at the University of Rochester Department of Economics. He is currently a Research Support Analyst for the Rochester City School District. Richard studies education, health, and environmental policy using administrative and survey data. He is currently... Read More →
avatar for Ray Giamartino

Ray Giamartino

Chief Accountability Officer, Rochester City School District
Dr. Ray Giamartino, Jr. is the Chief Accountability and Integrity Officer and IRB Chair in the Rochester City School District. In his role, he currently leads state and federal reporting; long-range trend student projection planning; attendance, suspension, assessment and graduation... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am EDT
Longfellow B, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

9:30am EDT

Leveraging Data to Improve the Equity of Student Assignment to Effective Teachers
Limited Capacity filling up

Over the past several years, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) has emphasized the importance of the equity of student placement with effective teachers. This work started as an internal analysis of effective teaching gaps that evolved into static reports that were provided to districts. After a positive reception and high level of engagement with these reports, the Tennessee Department of Education partnered with SAS to develop an online reporting tool that provided a more interactive and customizable look at this data. These reports include the ability to view effective teaching gaps based on a variety of student-level characteristics at the school and district levels along with teacher and student lists to aid more equitable student placement. The presenters will highlight lessons learned during this process, interesting findings about the equity of student assignment, advice for engaging with educators in the field about this data, and potential future directions for this work.

avatar for Laura Booker

Laura Booker

Executive Director of Research, Tennessee Department of Education
Laura Booker is the Executive Director of Research in the Tennessee Department of Education. Prior to her current position, she has worked as the Deputy Director of Research and Policy and as a Research Analyst in the Tennessee Department of Education. She received her PhD in Education... Read More →
avatar for Mary Batiwalla

Mary Batiwalla

Assistant Commissioner, TN Department of Education
Mary Batiwalla is the Assistant Commissioner of Assessment and Accountability at the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE). In her current role she oversees assessment development and logistics, accountability, reporting, and data governance. She works to continuously improve and... Read More →
avatar for Sylvia Flowers

Sylvia Flowers

Executive Director, Educator Effectiveness and Talent, Tennessee Department of Education
avatar for Elliotte Kinzer

Elliotte Kinzer

Regional Data Analyst and TVAAS Training Lead, Tennessee Department of Education
Elliotte Kinzer serves as the South Central CORE Data Analyst for the Tennessee Department of Education. The Tennessee Department of Education has eight regional offices called Centers of Regional Excellence (CORE). These offices are charged with providing differentiated, academic... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am EDT
Agassiz, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

9:30am EDT

Nudging Parents to Choose Better Schools: How Information Design Drives Action
Limited Capacity seats available

Researchers and policymakers examining school choice often assume that parents have well-ordered and stable preferences when it comes to their most important decisions, including where to send their children for school. A common assumption is that parents will be able to make the “correct” choice as long as they have access to complete information through school finders or “school shopping websites” (e.g., Levin 2002). But preferences may be more malleable than many assume, and parents might be influenced by the intentional or unintentional decisions that designers make about how to present information—how much detail to include, what attributes to describe, how to format the data shown for each attribute, and how to sort the options.
In this session, participants will engage with the findings of a study examining how various information displays changed parents’ decisions about which school they’d prefer for their children, and in some cases also affected the extent to which parents could easily understand information about schools and have a satisfying experience using each school shopping website. After hearing about how design choices can meaningfully increase the weight parents place on academic quality when selecting a school (compared to other attributes, such as a school’s distance from home), attendees will examine their own school guides and unpack how relatively simple and inexpensive design choices can produce meaningful changes in how parents interpret, process and use information about schools.
To prepare for this session, please submit an example of a local school guide here. This could be from a public agency, or a private resource like U.S. News & World Report.


Ira Nichols-Barrer

Senior Researcher, Mathematica Policy Research
I study the effectiveness of school choice policies and programs (charter schools, magnet schools, and how parents make decisions about schools). I'll be presenting the results of a new study examining how school information guides can help nudge parents to make better school cho... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am EDT
Longfellow A, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

9:30am EDT

Show Me the Growth Data: Improving Transparency and Communication about Accountability Measures
Limited Capacity filling up

Measures of student growth offer a richer understanding of student performance than a one-time test score alone, but measures of student growth are not created equal. In response to public demand for more information about school quality and student success, most states are holding schools accountable for “student growth” and including this information on school report cards. But states are measuring growth in different ways, which tell different stories about schools, and they are made up of a series of calculations that aren’t always intuitive to the average consumer of data. To make sense of what this data reveals about school quality, and use it to inform decisions that improve student outcomes, everyone—from parents to policymakers—needs to be able to understand their school’s growth data.

During this interactive workshop, participants will learn about the national landscape for how growth data is being measured and reported for state accountability by hearing select findings from the Data Quality Campaign’s brief "Growth Data: It Matters, and It’s Complicated," and its third annual analysis of school report cards, "Show Me the Data." Participants will then brainstorm communications strategies and practice explaining growth measures to various audiences, including policymakers, teachers, and parents. The session will conclude with a group discussion. Participants will reflect and share with colleagues their experiences with how school-level growth data is used in practice in their state or district, envision how they hope it will be used, and identify related actions they can take to support everyone’s ability to talk about and use this data to drive improvements.

Please bring your laptop or another mobile device for this participatory session.

avatar for Taryn Hochleitner

Taryn Hochleitner

Senior Associate, Data Quality Campaign
As a senior associate on the policy and advocacy team at DQC, Taryn helps identify, advocate for, and support changes to policy and practice that improve the ability of everyone with a stake in education to use data to make decisions. She focuses on the role of policy in creating... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am EDT
Kennedy A, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

9:30am EDT

Using Data to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Schools
Limited Capacity filling up

Educators care deeply about creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environments, as evidenced by the growth of school and district staff devoted exclusively to these objectives. These leaders can use objective data such as staff demographics and student achievement gaps to inform their efforts. Increasingly, they can also use demographic gaps in self-reported climate and social-emotional variables (e.g., students’ sense of belonging) to better understand the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) landscape of their schools. Finally, there are also emerging instruments that directly measures students’ DEI experiences and perceptions—whether they think students from different demographic groups are treated fairly, for example. In this session, panelists will describe how they have used data to create more inclusive, integrated, and equitable schools for students of different racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds. They will approach this topic from complementary perspectives and roles, as researchers and educators.
Lee Teitel from HGSE’s RIDES (Re-imagining Integration: Diverse and Equitable Schools) project will offer a historically-informed vision of school integration and describe the research-based practices that his team deploy in their work with school systems. Akisha Jones Sarfo from the University of Delaware will describe her work (as an SDP fellow) to understand and reduce racial discipline disproportionality in Guilford County School District. Sam Moulton from Panorama Education will share what he and his colleagues discovered from surveying over 10,000 students across 22 schools about their DEI experiences and perceptions. Finally, Andre Rodrigues and Derek Stampone from NYCDOE’s High School of Fashion Industries will discuss how they are using data from a student DEI survey and other sources to inform their school’s equity efforts.


Lee Teitel

Director, RIDES Project, HGSE
avatar for Derek Stampone

Derek Stampone

Teacher, NYCDOE
avatar for Andre Rodrigues

Andre Rodrigues

Assistant Principal, The HS of Fashion Industries
avatar for Akisha Jones

Akisha Jones

Research Assistant Professor, Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (University of Delaware)
avatar for Samuel Moulton

Samuel Moulton

Director of Research, Panorama Education

Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am EDT
Kennedy B, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

9:30am EDT

Working with School-Site Expenditure Data: What We Need to Know to Assess Equity and Efficiency
Limited Capacity seats available

ESSA is requiring districts to report school-level actual expenditures for the first time. What will journalists, public advocates, and researchers do with these numbers? What are the promises and perils of this new data set and what do careful analysts need to know?
Each state education agency is providing separate, often vague guidance on reporting actual expenditures to schools. Districts have considerable flexibility on how they define site-based expenditures. We will discuss how different, common accounting practices can lead to dramatically different administrative data on dollars spent per student at schools sites. This can result in biased comparisons for intra- and inter-district school expenditures. We will also discuss methods to reduce the impact of district policy and practice to improve the quality of comparisons.
Even with consistent, unbiased data it’s important to make valid, relevant comparisons. We will discuss how researchers model school-site expenditures to better understand factors that have been shown to contribute to school costs. This session will empower the SDP community to work with school-site expenditure data. Our community is generally addresses efficacy and looks at differential outcomes to understand equity.
This session will work on addressing resource equity and efficiency, two questions of critical interest to leaders and policy-makers.

avatar for Jason Becker

Jason Becker

Chief Product Officer, Allovue
Jason Becker is the Chief Product Officer at Allovue. His work includes changing how resources are managed by schools and districts and meeting the needs of school business officials, administrators, and the public through Allovue's software products. Jason is interested in understanding... Read More →
avatar for Justin Dayhoff

Justin Dayhoff

Senior Account Advisor, Allovue
Justin Dayhoff is an education and data consultant and the Chief Executive Officer of Dayhoff Consulting Services, LLC. Justin has more than ten years of experience and training in and around public schools (including as a teacher and data coach) that make him an especially valuable... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am EDT
Rogers, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

2:30pm EDT

Creating a Culture of Inquiry and Continuous Improvement
Limited Capacity filling up

Creating cultures of continuous improvement is no easy feat. This session will focus on three case studies that present strategies for shifting mindsets and building data culture. First, Kevin Hoffman from Aspire Public Schools will share Aspire’s efforts to become a learning organization steeped in inquiry by using the framework in Learning to Improve. Next, Kristen Rohanna from the UCLA Partner School Network will share how they strategically encourage teachers in their network to collect asset-based student data for their disciplined inquiry work. The purpose of these data is to shift educator mindsets around what it means to engage students in mathematics. Finally, Karen Tzong and Sharon Bi from Santa Ana Unified School District will share their low-lift strategy “Data Espressos” to engage stakeholders in data inquiry and initiate changes in their agency.

avatar for Sharon Bi

Sharon Bi

Assistant Director, Santa Ana Unified School District
Sharon Bi is the Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation in the Santa Ana Unified School District. She worked as the Educational Research Analyst in the Santa Ana Unified School District and as a Program Manager/Specialist at the Orange County Department of Education.Sharon... Read More →

Karen Tzong

Research Analyst, Santa Ana Unified School District
avatar for Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman

Associate Manager of Innovative Learning, Aspire Public Schools
I'm passionate about how technology and local innovation can transform teaching and learning to make school more rigorous, relevant, and effective for all students. As a former Algebra 1 teacher, I'm also partial to conversations around high school math instruction. I'm thrilled to... Read More →

Kristen Rohanna

Adjunct Faculty, UCLA
Former SDP data fellow and served as manager for research and evaluation for San Jose Unified School District. Currently leading the UCLA Partner School Networked Improvement Community. Also evaluate education programs through UCLA and independent consulting.

Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:30pm - 3:45pm EDT
Kennedy A, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

2:30pm EDT

Fighting the Good Fight: Organizing Market Forces for Data Interoperability, Integration, & Privacy
Limited Capacity filling up

What do you do when your organization’s data is sequestered in a third-party vendor’s system? This question is the heart of our panel of the nation’s leading organizations that are working to improve data interoperability, integration, and privacy from the organizations that are leading the way in this space. From developing data interoperability standards to grassroots organizing of LEAs and SEAs, you’ll learn how Project Unicorn, the Ed-Fi Alliance, and IMS Global Learning Consortium leverage their strength in numbers to move the market to an ecosystem of interoperability. You’ll also get to hear what the world’s largest cloud computing provider (Amazon Web Services) is doing to address interoperability and integration issues and can learn about the implications of FERPA and COPPA on data interoperability, integration, and privacy analysis from the Future of Privacy Forum. Our panel illustrates the existing strength in numbers that these organization’s wield and provides you with an opportunity to learn new strategies for managing vendors, gaining access to your data, and helping your vendors move out of the age of carrier pigeons and papyrus and into a world where data flows effortlessly through APIs. Most importantly, we want you to leave our session equipped with new strategies that you can use to get data flowing back into your organization from the third party tools you use.

avatar for Sean Casey

Sean Casey

Strategic Partnerships, Ed-Fi Alliance
Sean serves the Ed-Fi Alliance as Manager of Strategic Partnerships, helping LEAs, ESAs, and collaboratives adopt the Ed-Fi interoperability data standard and leverage the resources of the Ed-Fi Community. Over the years, Sean has worked as a district CIO and administrator, an educator... Read More →

Mark Luetzelschwab

Global Education Solutions Lead, Amazon Web Services
avatar for Erin Mote

Erin Mote

Executive Director, InnovateEDU
avatar for Amelia Vance

Amelia Vance

Director of Education Privacy, Future of Privacy Forum
Amelia is Policy Counsel at the Future of Privacy Forum. She leads FPF’s work to ensure the responsible use of student data and education technology in schools, helping educators with resources and information, and seeking inputs from all stakeholders to ensure students succeed.Prior... Read More →
avatar for Billy Buchanan

Billy Buchanan

Director, Office of Grants, Research, Accountability, & Data (GRAD), Fayette County Public Schools
I am the current Director of the Office of Grants, Research, Accountability, & Data (GRAD) for the second largest school district in Kentucky (Fayette County Public Schools) and a cohort V alum. I've developed several programs for the Stata community primarily centered around data... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:30pm - 3:45pm EDT
Kennedy B, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

2:30pm EDT

How can we lower barriers to college access and students’ success? Let’s ask some students.
Limited Capacity seats available

For first-generation college students, higher education can drastically alter their life trajectory. However, there are many barriers on the road to entering college, let alone graduating or graduating debt-free. In this session, current college students will share their thoughts on the most pernicious barriers to college access, and what the field should do to remedy them. These students are all alumni of TeenSHARP, a program that prepares talented low-income, Black, and Latinx students for top colleges through early access to college-level coursework and coaching throughout the application and decision process.


Tatiana Poladko

Founder, TeenSHARP
TeenSHARP prepares talented youth of color to attend and thrive at our nation's top colleges.

Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:30pm - 3:45pm EDT
Longfellow B, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

2:30pm EDT

How have Performance-Based Awards Programs evolved?
Limited Capacity seats available

Performance-based pay in education is not new. Over the years there have been numerous attempts at implementing such systems in schools, districts, and states across the country. However, these attempts have been met with varying levels of success. These initiatives have been subject to intense debate and some argue have even played a role in recent teacher unrest across the country. In this session, hear from district and school leaders at various stages of implementing performance-based awards programs about the intentions behind specific performance-based award structures and both the successes and lessons learned. From planning to implementation design to impact once implemented, the panel will dive into the recent shift in districts offering performance-based awards and the policy implications. Panelists will provide a review of recent literature and evaluations of performance-based awards programs for additional context. Audience participation will be sought during an interactive discussion of how performance-based awards programs can be designed to emphasize assets rather than deficits.

To prepare for this session, please read Rethinking teacher compensation policies: Why now, why again?

avatar for Brandi Holten

Brandi Holten

Senior Research Manager, Relay Graduate School of Education
teacher preparation, educator effectiveness, college and career readiness, early warning systems, juvenile justiceE-mail: bholten@relay.edu
avatar for Hannah Page

Hannah Page

Drew Charter School, Director of Data
Hannah is the Director of Data for Drew Charter School, an innovative cradle to career K-12 school in metro Atlanta. In this role, she manages all data and presents regularly to stakeholders. Hannah is particularly interested in how data can support successful equity practices. Previously... Read More →
avatar for Cara Jackson

Cara Jackson

Senior Associate, Abt Associates
Cara is a senior associate in the Social & Economic Policy division at Abt Associates, focusing on program evaluation, research design, and evidence synthesis. She is currently managing a national evaluation of one of the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance programs... Read More →
avatar for Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson

Director Grants Administration, Denver Public School District

Shanna Ricketts

Director, Gwinnett County Public Schools

Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:30pm - 3:45pm EDT
Stratton, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

2:30pm EDT

Improving Strategic Use of Financial Resources
Limited Capacity seats available

District and school leaders are responsible for ensuring that limited financial resources are used both effectively and efficiently to improve student learning. Ideally, budget decisions should be based on an assessment of existing investments concerning where and how money has been invested, the impact of those investments on teaching, learning or other processes, and their alignment with the current strategic priorities. However, many districts lack either the infrastructure to compile such data, which usually come from multiple sources, or a systematic process through which the critical information can be used strategically to inform decisions.
In this workshop, we first present data we prepared for senior leadership of Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky during the FY2019-20 budget season. The presentation includes side-by-side graphs of four-year investment and outcome trend lines, division-specific investments during that time period, and outcome data for some investments that reached the end of their investment cycle. We will discuss how these data did or did not help district leaders with their budget discussion and decision making.
Next, the data and organizational infrastructure we have built at JCPS to prepare such data is presented, with an introduction to our ongoing development of A-ROI indices aimed at informing decisions about individual investment items. We will conclude the workshop by sharing our work thus far on that front, which is part of a Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research project in collaboration with the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and funded by the Institute of Education Science of the U.S. Department of Education.

avatar for Steve Leach

Steve Leach

Program Analyst, Jefferson County Public Schools
My work as a data analyst is part of an IES grant funded collaboration with the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education (CBCSE) focused on cycle-based budgeting and academic return on investment (A-ROI). In my spare time, I'm working on my PhD in Educational Psychology Measurement... Read More →
avatar for Bo Yan

Bo Yan

Data Strategy, JCPS
Bo Yan has been leading the effort to develop and implement Cycle-based Budgeting at Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky for the past five years. More can be learned about the work at http://cyclebasedbudgeting.org. He was a proud Cohort 6 SDP fellow.

Dena Dossett

Chief, Accountability, Research, & Systems Imp, Jefferson County Public Schools

Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:30pm - 3:45pm EDT
Longfellow A, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

2:30pm EDT

New Approaches to Improving College Readiness
Limited Capacity seats available

Each year, many students arrive at college unprepared for college-level work: 41% of community college enrollees and 29% of four-year college enrollees reported taking at least one remedial course while enrolled. But, many students fail to complete their remedial courses and move on to college-level work. In response, colleges, schools, and states are experimenting with a wide range of approaches to help improve students’ ability to transition to college-level work. In this session, we will have three panelists discuss different remediation reforms aimed at improving students’ outcomes and one panelist discuss the role of dual enrollment in facilitating students’ transitions to college.
First, we will hear from the CUNY Start program, which provides intensive instruction and services to support students in meeting their remedial needs during one semester while delaying college enrollment. Next, we will discuss reforms in Florida, which included a change allowing students to opt-out of remedial courses in college. Then, we will hear from the Tennessee SAILS program which identifies students in high school that are flagged for college remediation and provides them with an opportunity to address their remediation needs in their senior year. Lastly, we will discuss the potential for dual enrollment in high school to better facilitate college transitions. We will end with a discussion about what we can learn from these initiatives and how we can move forward to improve college readiness.

avatar for Whitney Kozakowski

Whitney Kozakowski

PhD Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Whitney Kozakowski is a Ph.D. candidate in Education Policy and Program Evaluation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and PIER fellow through the Center for Education Policy Research. Her research is focused on college access and completion. Her current projects examine how... Read More →

avatar for Bethany King Wilkes

Bethany King Wilkes

Program Director, Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support, Tennessee Board of Regents
Bethany King Wilkes is the Program Director for Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS) at the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). In this role, she oversees the SAILS Program that targets students who have not achieved college readiness benchmarks by introducing... Read More →
avatar for John Fink

John Fink

Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
John Fink is the Senior Research Associate for Community College Research Center. His research seeks to uncover structural barriers within higher education that result in inequitable access to educational and economic opportunity for racially minoritized, low-income, and first-generation... Read More →
avatar for Christine Mokher

Christine Mokher

Associate Professor, Higher Education, Florida State University
Christine Mokher is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in Florida State University’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, where she is also a Senior Research Associate with the Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS). Her research is around policies supporting... Read More →
avatar for Angela Boatman

Angela Boatman

Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University
Angela Boatman is a higher education scholar whose work focuses on the evaluation of college access and completion policies, particularly in the areas of remediation, financial aid, and community college student success. Her research explores the outcomes of policies designed to increase... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:30pm - 3:45pm EDT
Rogers, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

2:30pm EDT

Using Data to Drive Equity in Response to Student Behavior
Limited Capacity filling up

Responding to the nationwide increased awareness of inequities in response to behaviors among different groups of students, KIPP Philadelphia has used Schoolzilla Mosaic data dashboards to monitor and develop data routines around behavior.
In this session, participants will learn how KIPP Philadelphia and other schools/districts have used data to inform their practice around responding to student behavior. They will have time to engage in discussion around data routines, support and training to help school and district leaders use data to drive actions.
This session is ideal for school leaders seeking to reduce suspensions, improve student behavior outcomes, and build a more robust data culture.

avatar for Lynzi


Founder/CEO, Schoolzilla PBC
Lynzi is the Founder and CEO of Schoolzilla PBC. She founded the technology innovation team at Aspire Public Schools in 2008 to empower every Aspire teacher, principal, and leader with timely, accurate and actionable data. Five years later, she started Schoolzilla, a Public Benefit... Read More →
avatar for Shannon Stackhouse

Shannon Stackhouse

Sr. Impact Manager, Schoolzilla
avatar for Danielle Cooper-Williams

Danielle Cooper-Williams

Director of Equity and Cultural Proficiency, KIPP Philadelphia Schools
Danielle Cooper-Williams is the Director of Equity & Cultural Proficiency at KIPP Philadelphia Schools. Previously, Danielle was an assistant principal for 4 years at KPEA and previously taught art, physical education, and grades kindergarten through 2nd, as well as serving as a grade... Read More →

Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:30pm - 3:45pm EDT
Agassiz, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)
Wednesday, May 22

10:15am EDT

A Nation at Hope: Social Emotional Learning and Success
Limited Capacity filling up

Research shows that when schools help students build character and scholarship in concert, student achievement flourishes in class and in life. In this session members of the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development will share insights and recommendations from the commission’s recently released report, A Nation at Hope. Join the commission’s co-chair, Timothy Shriver, and leading members of the policy, practice, and research working groups to hear about the science of social and emotional learning, its role in schools and schooling, and key recommendations for the next generation of practice, policy, and research.

avatar for Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones

Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Stephanie Jones is the Marie and Max Kargman Associate Professor in Human Development and Urban Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on the longitudinal effects of poverty and exposure to violence on social, emotional, and behavioral development... Read More →
avatar for Gene Wilhoit

Gene Wilhoit

Executive Director, Center for Innovation in Education
Gene Wilhoit is the CEO of the Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky. Gene served as executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) from 2006 until 2013, having spent his entire professional career serving education at the local... Read More →
avatar for Sheldon Berman

Sheldon Berman

Superintendent of Schools, Andover Public Schools
On July 1, 2015, Dr. Sheldon H. Berman assumed the superintendency of the Andover Public Schools in Massachusetts, as their superintendent.Previously, from July 2011 to June 2015, Dr. Berman was the superintendent of the Eugene (Oregon) School District. During his four years in Eugene... Read More →
avatar for Timothy Shriver

Timothy Shriver

Chairman, Special Olympics International
Shriver leads the International Board of Directors and serves together with over 5.6 million Special Olympics athletes in 172 countries to promote health, education, and a more unified world through the joy of sports.Shriver joined Special Olympics in 1996. He is a leading educator who... Read More →

Wednesday May 22, 2019 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Agassiz, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

10:15am EDT

Batting .750: Results From a Series of Fall 2018 Attendance Pilots
Limited Capacity seats available

In education, the list of interventions that are effective, generalizable and manageable to implement is frustratingly short. It’s even shorter when we look for interventions that meet these conditions and improve attendance. In our session we intend to make that list a little longer. We’ll share the results of a dozen attendance pilots run in the fall of 2018 in seven districts and CMOs across the country. And we’ll invite the audience to join in generating hypotheses about why the effective interventions worked and what that can tell us about what practitioners should try next.


William Wagner-Flynn

Data Analyst, Syracuse City School District
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Paul Houchens

Director Research and Evaluation, SDPBC
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David Hersh

Director, Proving Ground, Center for Education Policy Research
Dave Hersh is the Director of Proving Ground at the Center for Education Policy Research. Prior to joining Proving Ground, Dave was the Chief of Finance and Analytics for Camden City Schools (CCSD) in New Jersey. He joined CCSD as a Data Fellow with the Strategic Data Project. In... Read More →

Wednesday May 22, 2019 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Longfellow B, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

10:15am EDT

Improving Supports for Novice Educators
Limited Capacity seats available

Supporting Delaware’s newest educators is essential to ensuring all of Delaware’s students receive a quality education and are college and/or career ready. By providing comprehensive support to our newest educators, the Delaware Department of Education, school districts, and charter schools can work together towards increasing educator retention rates; improving professional practices of both new and veteran educators, and most importantly, having positive effects on student achievement.
This discussion will explore the state of Delaware’s approach to improving their mentoring and induction program, supporting district and school leaders in implementing mentoring and induction programs, and using data to drive interventions and decision-making. Furthermore, panelists will share their experiences, challenges that they have faced, early wins, and their approach to measuring outcomes, and continuous system-level improvements over time.

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Shannon Holston

Director, Educator Effectiveness, Delaware Dept.of Education
Shannon Holston is the Director for Educator Effectiveness for the Delaware Department of Education. As a director, her work includes educator preparation programs. 
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Nermin Zubaca

Data Analyst, University of Delaware/Delaware Department of Education
Nermin Zubaca works full-time with the Delaware Department of Education and leads the educator data collection, reporting, statistical analysis, and visualization. His work also focuses on governance projects, federal reporting, project management, technical assistance, and production... Read More →
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Seher Ahmad

Researcher, Delaware Department of Education
Seher Ahmad, Ph.D. works full-time with Delaware Department of Education on projects related to educator evaluation and effectiveness. Her work includes stake holder engagement, district and school monitoring visits, project management, statistical analyses, and providing technical... Read More →

Angela Socorso

Supervisor of Human Resources, Smyrna School District
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Dr. Michael Saylor

Director - Educator Excellence, Delaware Department of Education
Strong and varied skills in the field of education – specifically in the areas of talent development, equity, policy, school innovation, and curriculum/instruction/assessment. Currently leads the Educator Excellence Unit at the Delaware Department of Education. Previous experience... Read More →

Wednesday May 22, 2019 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Stratton, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

10:15am EDT

Reform by the Book: Textbook Effects in the Common Core Era
Limited Capacity seats available

Is curriculum choice the silver bullet intervention that K-12 desperately needs? Though recent studies have stoked enthusiasm for using curriculum as a relatively low-cost means to drive student achievement gains, a new study of elementary math textbook efficacy casts doubt on just how much we can expect from curriculum alone. Our panelists will explore how a high-quality curriculum fits into a broader system of reform, what states can do to help researchers better understand its impact on instruction and learning, and why teacher support must be a part of the conversation.

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David Blazar

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland College Park
David Blazar is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and Economics at the University of Maryland. His research examines teacher labor markets, with a focus on professional learning, organizational contexts of schools and districts, and accountability policy. Current projects... Read More →
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Jackie Kerstetter

Communications Consultant, Alessi Communication & Design Co

Morgan Polikoff

Associate Professor, University of Southern California
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David Steiner

Professor/Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy
David Steiner is Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy and Professor of Education at Johns Hopkins University. He currently serves as a member of the State Board of Education and on the Maryland Commission for Innovation and Excellence in Education. Additionally... Read More →
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Dan Weisberg

Chief Executive Officer, TNTP
As TNTP’s Chief Executive Officer, Dan Weisberg oversees TNTP’s executive team and all aspects of the organization’s operations, strategy and growth.Prior to becoming CEO in June 2015 as part of TNTP’s long-term growth strategy, Dan was the Executive Vice President for Performance Management and General Counsel. In this role, he built and led a 130-person team to support the efforts of school systems and states nationwide to recruit, develop and retain effective teachers and principals.Previously, as Vice... Read More →
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Judy Wurtzel

Senior Director, Education, Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
Judy Wurtzel supports the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s efforts to improve K-12 education across the U.S., with a focus on instructional materials, professional learning and parent resources.Judy has experience in government, philanthropy, associations and non-profits... Read More →

Wednesday May 22, 2019 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Rogers, Third Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

10:15am EDT

Strength in Failure: A candid conversation about research & analysis that never saw the light of day
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Join SDP Alumni for a critical conversations session about studies, analyses, and experiments that failed to create usable data, were never conducted, were never presented due to organizational or political pressure, or evolved into a completely different study. Rarely do we talk candidly about all the times we failed, and how we overcame barriers to better use data to inform policy and practice. At SDP’s 10th Anniversary, there is no better time to bring forward some of these "failures" and talk about how they resulted in new learnings, generated new practices, and spurred new research. Attendees will leave the session with examples of “failures” across five agencies that resulted in new research or policies that moved the conversation forward. The presenters will share their experiences of how they created action from failure, and how it catalyzed later success. This discussion will highlight strategies for advancing rigorous data analysis to improve the quality of decision-making in educational agencies. This session seeks to leave the attendee with a greater understanding of how the research process unfolds, and how unexpected roadblocks can result in stronger results down the line. The audience will be given time to reflect on their own challenges, brainstorm strategies to work around barriers, and develop next steps for addressing similar challenges in their agencies, in addition to having ample time to ask and answer questions.

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Tom Hay

Academy Director, ConsenSys
I'm Director of ConsenSys Academy. We build educational products to teach about the blockchain. Former Director of Data Strategy @ Uplift Education, former Associate @ Booz Allen Hamilton. SDP Alumni - Cohort 6.
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Carrie Conaway

Chief Strategy and Research Officer, MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Cara Jackson

Senior Associate, Abt Associates
Cara is a senior associate in the Social & Economic Policy division at Abt Associates, focusing on program evaluation, research design, and evidence synthesis. She is currently managing a national evaluation of one of the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance programs... Read More →
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Matt Lenard

Matt Lenard is a Ph.D. student in Education Policy and Program Evaluation at Harvard University. His primary research in, Harvard Graduate School of Education
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Matt Linick

Sr. Researcher, AIR

Wednesday May 22, 2019 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Kennedy A, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

10:15am EDT

The Odd Couple? Marrying Performance Management and Improvement Science in Chesterfield County Public Schools
Limited Capacity seats available

For the 2018-2019 school year, Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) reinvented its state-mandated School Innovation and Improvement Planning process (SIIP) around the principles of performance management and improvement science. Each 63 CCPS schools completed a Preliminary Needs Assessment that led them through a review of critical data to better define goals for the SIIP process. To accommodate more meaningful and ambitious reform strategies, schools wrote three-year goals and chose quantitative data that measures interim benchmarks towards goal completion each semester. Then they selected initial action steps that they believed would move their chosen metric, which they review at the end of each semester. Movement in the measure suggests the school keep the same action steps. Measures that do not improve provides an opportunity to reflect as to whether the plan should change.

In this workshop, we will describe the development of the revised process and the principles from performance management and improvement science theory that informed this process. Participants will dig into the data, practice goal and benchmark setting, and design action steps to internalize the process. At the conclusion of this process and if time permits, participants will share feedback on the process and highlights from their plans.

Please bring your laptop to this participatory session.

avatar for Dr. Bryan Shelly

Dr. Bryan Shelly

Coordinator, Research & Evaluation, Chesterfield County Public Schools

Dr. Tinkhani White

Curriculum Coordinator, Chesterfield County Public Schools

Wednesday May 22, 2019 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Kennedy B, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)

10:15am EDT

TOOLKITS!: Scaling your work for maximum impact with stakeholders
Limited Capacity seats available

SDP Fellows have transformed their agencies’ abilities to leverage data for high-quality insights and actionable next steps. From curriculum and instruction to teacher preparation and college-career readiness, fellows have helped shape policy by providing tools that drive key decision making. But given that the number of fellows in an agency is limited, much of this work must be prioritized based on capacity. In other words, a small group of fellows within an agency can uncover deep, custom insights for a small number of stakeholders, but not for all of them simultaneously. Yet transforming an organization’s data culture requires participants to be actively engaged at multiple points. So how does one transfer the ability of a few analysts uncovering key insights to a broader swathe of the organization, which may not have an advanced level of technical skill, in service of a culture that relies on data and insights?

Toolkits allow us to harness the power of a few and transfer it more broadly without training every person on staff to be an analyst. Similar to a Blue Apron dinner kit, this session will walk participants through an in-depth step-by-step approach to scaling micro solutions to large-scale toolkits capable of servicing a large number of stakeholders without direct supervision from the product designers. The session will cover the 6 stages to designing a tool kit and help participants determine where and where not to leverage products for potential toolkit scalability.

Please bring your laptop to this participatory session.


Christopher Leake

National Senior Vice President, Teach For America

Wednesday May 22, 2019 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Longfellow A, First Floor Charles Hotel (1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA, USA)
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