In September 2014, Professor Alice Lesnick caught up with David to see what he has accomplished since graduation.
What are you doing now?
I’m a researcher (“Research Assistant II”) at the Education Development Center – an R&D organization in the Boston area. I mostly do research for an organization within EDC called the Regional Education Laboratory – Northeast & Islands (REL-NEI). It’s an IES funded organization that conducts research to support the needs of state education leaders in the Northeast and Islands (Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).
What has your work/study trajectory been since the bico?
I taught middle school and high school for three years in Philadelphia and New York City. During the summer, between school years, I completed coursework toward a Masters in “Sociology and Education” from Teachers College, Columbia University. While teaching in New York, I was also enrolled part time at Columbia. After my third of teaching, I enrolled in the Masters program full time to finish it off. Just before moving to Boston for my current job, I briefly interned as a policy analyst at Research for Action in Philadelphia.
What are the current projects you are most excited about working on?
A study around the use of perception surveys in state educator evaluation systems and a study around state implementation and use of Kindergarten Entry Assessments.
How do your ed studies inform your current work/thinking?
My Ed studies compelled me to contemplate the disparities in academic achievement and outcomes between different social groups. That influenced my pursuit of an advanced degree in the sociology of education. During graduate school, I became deeply interested in using quantitative methods in education research. Professionally, I hope to conduct research that helps shed light on the reasons for the variance in achievement and outcomes. In the near future, I plan to pursue a PhD in a program that allows me to simultaneously broaden my understanding of social theories in education and advance my skills in quantitative methods.
What do you most remember?
Being drawn to the work of Paulo Freire ("Critical Issues in Education" & "Schools In American Cities" with Professor Jody Cohen) and then gravitating more toward the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu. I would study the latter fairly extensively in graduate school. Bourdieu has certainly had the most influence on my thinking around the disparities in educational achievement and outcomes.
What advice do you have for current students?
Don't feel like you have to figure out what your professional career will be. Your ideas about what you would ultimately like to do will likely evolve.