My research addresses the technologies, leadership practices, and district policies that support the use of data in decision making. The overall aim of this work to help schools and educators make the most out of their knowledge about students. Several of my papers in this area have won American Educational Research Association awards. The most recent was in the area of organizational theory. It illuminated some of the social processes that influence districts’ efforts to implement technologies for managing student data. Currently, I am also investigating school administrators' engagement in professional communities via social media such as Twitter.
My practical experiences in education range from teacher to policy worker. I began teaching as a Teach for America corps member in Houston, Texas. As a teacher, I was also a National Writing Project Fellow at the University of Houston - Clear Lake. I completed my M.Ed. at the University of Houston’s Title III Urban Principals Program, which led me to eventually become an assistant principal. A persistent interest in the larger issues affecting schools, however, drove me to earn my Ph.D. in educational policy and planning at the University of Texas at Austin. While in Austin, I served on the legislative staff of a leading Texas Senator, developing and negotiating state policies affecting higher education.