Background: Bonnie O'Keefe is a senior analyst with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Thought Leadership practice area. Prior to joining Bellwether in 2016, Bonnie spent two years on the assessment team at the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education. As PARCC coordinator, Bonnie led assessment policy development; offered training and technical assistance to schools during the transition to new, computer-based assessments; and served as co-chair of a multi-state working group on test administration policies and technology. Before that, Bonnie worked for DC Action for Children, a locally focused child advocacy organization, first as an Education Pioneers fellow, then as a policy analyst and senior policy analyst. There, Bonnie authored reports on topics such as child care, early intervention, and school attendance; coordinated data for the DC KIDS COUNT project; and frequently testified before the D.C. Council on budgetary and legislative issues. Prior to her work in education, she served as political programs coordinator for the Women’s Campaign Fund and interned in the offices of U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Jon Tester. Bonnie has a master’s of public policy from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, where she double majored in English and Women’s and Gender Studies.
Why I do this work: I have been very lucky to have access to great educational opportunities throughout my life, starting with my hometown public schools. Too many children and adults cannot say the same thing. My interest in education comes from a social justice perspective, and even when tackling the most technical problems, I center my work on serving students.