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Melissa Steel King

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Melissa Steel King
Partner and Evaluation Leader
Policy and Evaluation

Background: Melissa Steel King is a partner and Evaluation leader in the Policy and Evaluation practice area at Bellwether, where her work has focused on program evaluation, evaluation capacity-building, teacher preparation and training, and whole child development. Prior to joining Bellwether, Melissa worked at SUNY Albany’s Center for Human Services Research, where she conducted evaluations of programs such as the school district’s federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, a local parenting education workshop series, and the Albany Promise, a cross-sector partnership to improve cradle-to-career outcomes for Albany students. Previously, Melissa conducted effectiveness research on pre-K through 12 curricula in the Research and Validation Department at Scholastic Inc., and worked as a trainer and evaluator for a social and ethical awareness program in Boston Public Schools. Melissa began her career as an elementary school teacher in New York City and Boston. 

Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s in elementary education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her doctorate in education in human development and psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Currently, Melissa serves on the board of GreatSchools.

Why I do this work: As the descendant of generations of educators in Ghana and the United States, I grew up believing in the power of education as a vehicle for social change. My experiences as a teacher and researcher reinforced how much still needs to be done to address inequities in our education system. Through my work, I hope to help ensure that our schools and communities offer all children access to high-quality education.

Experience at Bellwether: Program Evaluation/Evaluation Capacity-Building; Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis; Data Collection and Analysis; Analysis; Policy Research and Analysis; Writing; Research; Project Management; CMO/Charter School Operators; District Schools; Foundations; Advocacy Organizations

Client segments served: K-12 Schools; School Districts; CMO/Charter Schools; State Education Agencies; Foundations and Grantees; Nonprofit Organizations; Policy Organizations; Advocacy Groups; Product and Service Providers

Sample clients: Community Learning Collaborative, Regional Comprehensive Center 6, Lynch Foundation, Collegiate Academies, Amira Learning, Heising-Simons Foundation, RE-Center Race and Equity in Education, Teacher Collaborative

Recent Media

Bonnie O'Keefe
Alex Spurrier
Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
Hailly T.N. Korman
Melissa Steel King
Allison Crean Davis
Indira Dammu
Juliet Squire
Ashley LiBetti

COVID-19 has presented new challenges for schools and families to grapple with when it comes to student learning — but the pandemic also has illuminated shortcomings and missed opportunities that have long been present in our education system. Now, nearly a year after schools across the country first shut down due to the pandemic —and as more communities eye the possibility of a return to full-time, in-person learning — a new series of briefs from Bellwether offers guidance on how the education sector can recenter and rebuild in the wake of COVID-19.

"From Pandemic to Progress: Eight Education Pathways for COVID-19 Recovery" puts forth a suite of ambitious but achievable pathways for education leaders and policymakers to follow to re-engage in complex policy questions and rebuild education as the country begins to emerge from the pandemic. Drawing on the breadth of Bellwether's unique expertise and diversity of viewpoints, this series offers a take on what we'll need in the years ahead to create a sector that can provide students with the high-quality education and supports they need and deserve to be successful.