Drew McDermott (MPA ’16) joined Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) as a business analyst on its Data Science team.
The Seattle-based nonprofit organization partners with school, district, and state leaders around the country to identify thousands of “missing students,” ensuring that these low-income students and students of color have the opportunity to succeed in challenging high school classes, preparing them to achieve their college goals.
In his role, McDermott develops analytics to allow EOS staff members and their school partners to assess access and equity gaps, and to evaluate progress toward addressing these challenges.
“My La Follette training played a key role in developing my strong interest in and aptitude for developing evidence-informed policy solutions,” says McDermott. “I’m looking forward to bringing this lens to my work at EOS, increasing educational opportunity for marginalized groups.”
McDermott, who received the La Follette School’s 2016 Director’s Award, was also the first recipient of the Education Analytics Fellowship, working as a project assistant with Education Analytics during his graduate studies.
Founded by La Follette School faculty member Robert Meyer, Education Analytics helps school districts and their stakeholders develop and implement analytics to improve student learning. This analysis includes statistical models to measure teachers’ and schools’ contributions to student academic growth.
“The common thread in my professional and academic pursuits has been a desire to use program data to identify successes and promote effective policy changes,” said McDermott, who is originally from Maryland. “By constructing analyses in ways that make them more accessible to decision-makers, these individuals are more likely to implement evidence-informed solutions to institutional problems.”
Prior to coming to La Follette, McDermott worked as a research assistant in the young adults and postsecondary education policy area at MDRC, a nationally recognized, nonprofit, nonpartisan social policy research organization. He also is an alumnus of the AmeriCorps VISTA program, having served at a local housing assistance organization in Corvallis, Oregon.
In addition to a master of public affairs degree, McDermott holds a bachelor of arts in urban studies cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.