Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, I’m an educational researcher who focuses on using data to advocate or better schools. In 2018, I helped create a local, grassroots organization, Data for Better Schools, the purpose of which is to use data for community organizing. I am also an active member of the We the People National Math Literacy for All Alliance, which is focused on enacting federal legislation that will improve math teaching and learning in underserved communities in the U.S.
From 2015 to 2019 I was a member of the Cambridge School Committee, the elected governing body for the Cambridge Public SchooIs. While on the School Committee I accomplished the following:
Pushed successfully for smaller class sizes in the critical 9th grade transition year, and more guidance counselors, social workers, and paraprofessionals for all grades. This year, 16 paraprofessional positions were restored that had been cut from the budget in 2011.
Advocated relentlessly for universal 4-year-old education, which is now in the design phase.
Insisted on receiving data on Special Education placements, which triggered an examination of referral practices that had led to disproportionate placement of Black and Latino boys in Special Education.
Insisted on receiving data on chronic absences, resulting in more district support for parents struggling to get their children to school every day.
Led a successful effort to reform the high school attendance policy, which was disproportionately penalizing students with disabilities and low-income students.
Pushed to expand the Spanish language program, which resulted in two more elementary schools offering Spanish instruction.
Prior to being on the School Committee, I was a member of the Cambridge STEAM Working Group (STEM + the Arts), which successfully lobbied the Cambridge City Council to establish a STEAM office in the city administration. I also served on the board of Enroot, a program that supports immigrant high school students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and Somerville High School. Early in my career, I worked as a language specialist at a progressive school for Deaf students in Framingham, and later as an educational researcher at Harvard and Lesley University. My two children attended Cambridge Public Schools, K-12.
My research training is from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I studied child and adolescent development and research methods.