Data use sounds technical, but it actually represents the simple yet important idea that we should understand and have constant feedback on what’s happening now to inform efforts to improve. Education is too important not to.
As associate director of policy insights, Taryn leads the organization’s research strategy and efforts to measure state progress on making data work for everyone navigating their education and workforce journeys. She guides research activities that allow DQC to understand the national landscape, share stories of success, and advance its policy vision for improving data access. She also facilitates internal knowledge sharing and designs meetings that support DQC’s key audiences in their efforts to advance effective data policies.
Taryn believes it is necessary, and possible, to empower everyone who has a role in education with information they can use to take action. There are real challenges to making this a reality in all classrooms, communities, and states, and that’s why DQC’s work matters.
Before joining DQC in 2014, Taryn was a research associate for Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank. There she helped write and disseminate analysis and recommendations on a number of issues such as digital learning, parent empowerment, and school system reform. Taryn earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at American University.
When she’s not thinking and learning and debating about how we can make sure all kids have a quality education, her favorite places to be are on a hike, in a dance class, or watching a soccer game.
Who are your education heroes? Teachers. Regardless of whether leaders can create the ideal policy conditions to support student success, what matters most is the energy and skill teachers bring to their jobs every day.
What is your favorite DQC resource? My favorite resource is not a DQC resource but a collaborative effort DQC led with a coalition of fellow non-profit partners. The Student Data Principles are an important statement that, no matter if we agree on specific policy agendas, we share common beliefs about the critical role of data in supporting student success. Doing this work has taught me the power of partnership and finding common values in moving big ideas forward.
What’s your superpower? I can remember everyone’s birthday, I’m like a human calendar.