Background: Jennifer Schiess is a principal on the Policy and Thought Leadership team. Previously, she spent a decade working with the Texas Legislature, most recently serving as the primary adviser to the legislature on school finance and a range of other public education issues including standards, assessment, and accountability; educator quality, compensation, and benefits; and charter schools and school choice policy. While in Texas, she led a team of analysts charged with managing and supporting legislative deliberations regarding the state’s public education budget and analyzing public education legislation for fiscal and policy implications. Prior to her time in Texas, Schiess worked in university and governmental relations for Vanderbilt University, where she collaborated with a range of communities internal and external to the university and led the establishment of a nonprofit organization concerned with regional smart planning, and taught English in a public high school in Nashville. Schiess holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University, a master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt University, and a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University.
Why I Do This Work: I believe that in order to have a prosperous and accountable society of adults, we must provide our children with the tools, through our education system, to enable full participation in a democracy and to create economic success. As a product of public primary and secondary schools, I was fortunate to benefit from schooling that prepared me well and aligned with my goals for college and career, and I believe that it is both possible and essential that all children have access to a high quality educational experience.