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Allison Crean Davis

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Allison Crean Davis
Senior Adviser
Policy and Evaluation

Background: Allison Crean Davis is a senior adviser with Bellwether Education Partners, focusing on issues related to evaluation and planning, evaluation capacity-building, predictive analytics, and Native American education. Allison leads Bellwether's evaluation work on a variety of multi-year initiatives, including multiple Charter School Program replication and expansion grants and the federally funded Regional Comprehensive Center VI serving the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Allison also provides leadership to the capacity-building work of the National Comprehensive Center. She has provided evaluation support to a national teacher advocacy fellowship, several summer learning initiatives (The Wallace Foundation, The John T. Gorman Foundation, BellXcel), and has led survey research that responds to pressing questions for Bellwether’s clients and the sector (Harmony Schools, Capital Area Online Learning Association, Nellie Mae Education Foundation.)

Allison is a founder and former chair of the board of directors at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, Maine’s first charter high school. She has served as external adviser to the Bureau of Indian Education and guided that organization in the design and implementation of a system of support for schools across 23 states. In addition to providing evaluation services, Allison has done extensive work building the capacity of organizations to evaluate their own efforts for continuous improvement, including state education agencies, districts, schools, nonprofits, and foundation grantees.

Prior to her work as a consultant, Allison was the program director for research at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory’s Center for Data Systems and Development (now part of American Institutes for Research). Allison has also worked as an administrator and counselor for the City Colleges of Chicago, has worked in special education programs, and has extensive experience providing psychological diagnostic assessment and treatment services to children and families. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s in both psychology and Spanish from Lafayette College. Allison is a mother/stepmother of four children and resides in Kennebunk, Maine.

Experience at Bellwether: program evaluation, survey research, evaluation capacity-building, foundation advising, grant writing, quantitative analysis, performance metrics, social-emotional learning

Client segments served: state education agencies, foundations and grantees, charter management organizations, federally-funded comprehensive center network, policy organizations, product and service organizations, higher education, Native American education

Sample clients: The Wallace Foundation, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Foundation for Excellence in Education, National Comprehensive Center, SERVE, Collaborative for Student Success, Collegiate Academies, Crescent City Schools, National Indian Education Association, NALEO Education Fund, Emerson Collective

Why I do this work: My training in clinical psychology provided me with a strong research and analysis background and rich exposure to the academic and emotional challenges experienced by individual children. That work often had me consulting with the primary systems in which children thrive: their families and their schools. This inspired me to consider how schools, and the broader systems in which they function, can best serve the diverse needs of all children and how those efforts can be guided by evidence at all levels.

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Allison Crean Davis

In the education sector, there's a tension between the need for good information to better serve kids right now and the reality that solid, reliable evidence from research takes time.