Education policy is not easy or simple. Decisions are not "yes" or "no." Our nation's education systems are not as simple as good vs. bad, or perfect vs. broken. Policy makers must address challenges facing cities, the nation, and the world – not simply classrooms or schools.

Consider, for instance, some key players in the K-12 education system: the U.S. Department of Education, state boards and departments of education, state-level administrators and staff, district superintendents, school principals, local educators, parents, students, the press, and the public at large. Of course, colleges and universities, businesses, textbook developers, testing companies, and additional stakeholders play a role, too.

Even making everyday policy decisions is difficult. While careful reflection is vital, time is short and decisions must be made quickly. From my policy experience at the state and national levels, these demands confirm my conviction that translating the science of learning is essential. To revolutionize public education, we must be armed with clear, specific, and applicable strategies for improving learning.

Here are a few highlights about my policy experience:

  • Served as Illinois' Director of K-12 Assessment, responsible for 7 statewide standardized tests, the drafting of Illinois' No Child Left Behind Waiver, the selection and adoption a student growth model, and the management of a $43 million budget
  • Experience at the U.S. Department of Education and the College Board, examining educational technology, educational research, and international assessment policies