Taryn Hochleitner

Associate Director, Policy and Advocacy

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 for policy and advocacy, Taryn identifies, advocates for, and supports changes to state policy and practice that make data work for students. She tracks the changing landscape of state policies that govern education data, and shares resulting insights and recommendations with policymakers and the field. She manages efforts to build DQC’s expertise on the data implications of emerging education issues, such as personalized learning and measuring student growth, and identify action steps state policymakers can take to ensure effective data use while pursuing their education goals.

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.