Objective

My goal is  to improve educational quality and build organizational capacity in schools, which includes developing tools and practices to appropriately assess teaching and learning, analyze the myriad data that emerge from it, and  support leadership in making informed decisions based on the best evidence available.

My research background is quite diverse, with research in teacher effectiveness, data and evidence use, decision-making based on the different types of data and research evidence, and broader organizational research into schools and educational institutions. I want to base my career in practical contexts that lead to high impact and organizational change, and so I am looking for positions in large districts, with state departments of education, or with research institutions that focus on creating effective and innovative educational organizations that seek to build strong data practices for improvement.

My prior work as a full stack Senior Developer at the McDonnell Genome Institute has provided me with a fairly unique skill set that is atypical for educational administrators or researchers. I was the project lead to develop a large-scale business intelligence OLAP database, have very efficient automation and programming skills, and have been a senior team member in the development of web application systems, data infrastructure platforms, stand alone projects, and distributed systems.

My primary career interest is to participate in building effective organizational systems that scale within schools, districts, and the educational system at large. This includes building out a sensible technical and data infrastructure that meets the criteria for effective data use: that it provides immediate and relevant data, is accessible (e.g. employs a sophisticated user experience), and provides information to teachers and school leaders that is actionable (e.g. formative).

Additionally, we have 30 years of research on data use that tells us that effective systems require more than accessible data, and the most important component is to engage stakeholders at all levels. I strongly believe that change (or the lack of it) happens with the street level bureaucrat (Lipsky, 1980;  see also Honig, 2006), and so any desire to leverage new research, data, or technology to improve the organizational systems needs interconnection with all levels.

Skills

Empirical Research

  • Dissertation focuses on the use of data and research evidence by practitioners
  • A primary area of research focuses on teacher effectiveness and measures of teaching quality
  • Mixed methodologist proficient in a wide variety of methodological designs (as well as an understanding of the philosophical assumptions behind different approaches):
    • Designed and conducted social network analyses to investigate professional trust
    • Have engaged in interpretivist ethnography and interviewing  as well as participatory action research
    • Have designed quasiexperimental propensity matching formulas and am familiar with regression discontinuity
  • Proficient and experienced in regression, factor analysis, and social network analysis; familiar with MANOVA and HLM

Organizational Research

  • Investigating research and evidence use by practitioners ($50,000 grant from the W.T. Grant Foundation)
  • Analyzed Race to the Top teacher evaluation systems ($40,000 grant from American Federation of Teachers)
  • Extensive interviewing of populations that include teachers in urban schools in the United States
  • Worked with social studies teachers to develop participatory action research programs for students

Project Design and Management

  • Led major long-term production projects from project conceptualization through completion
  • Managed developer teams as project lead for substantial infrastructure projects
  • Worked collaboratively with non-technical stakeholders to understand their needs and translate them into technical solutions

Technical Proficiencies

  • Programming proficiency includes Python, Javascript/jQuery, Perl, Java, C, and several others. Experienced in polyglot systems and Agile development processes.
  • Expertise in database design, development, and use; includes schema design (3NF / BCNF) for large scale OLTP systems and Business Intelligence/OLAP contexts in Oracle and SQL Server. I’ve also developed and run standalone MySQL, Postgres, and SQLite system.
  • Expertise in R and Dedoose, and experienced in SPSS and Atlas.ti