Brennan McMahon Parton

Director, Policy and Advocacy

Students’ futures should not depend on a hunch or assumptions about their abilities, but rather on real information that shows their growth and potential. Without education data, teachers, parents, and leaders make decisions about students in the dark.


As director of policy and advocacy, Brennan leads DQC’s efforts to ensure that state leaders enact policies that get teachers, parents, and students themselves the data they need for every student to excel.

Brennan joined DQC in 2011 to advance the organization’s mission that seeks to ensure that data is used in service of student learning. Before joining DQC, Brennan worked at the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, in Nashville, Tennessee, as a research and policy analyst. During her graduate studies she worked for the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability.

Brennan earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in public policy from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody School of Education. She is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Even outside the office, Brennan enjoys a good policy discussion. She also loves taking in DC’s excellent museums, many parks, and good Ethiopian food.

Why do you do this work? Because people deserve data. Education is the last place anyone should have to make a decision in the dark.

Who are your education heroes? My teachers, especially Ms. Sivils from third grade and Ms. Luken-Smith from 11th grade English.

What’s your superpower? White board-walling.