Sara Allender, a Senior Research Associate, directs monitoring and evaluation projects with a focus on federal school choice discretionary grant programs. She also provides technical assistance to states and other entities on school choice policy. She has extensive knowledge of related school choice statute, policy, regulatory, and nonregulatory guidance.
As the co-director of WestEd’s Charter School Program (CSP) monitoring and data collection projects, her responsibilities include the development of monitoring indicators and protocols; design and delivery of training and technical assistance for project directors and monitors; training and supervision for a team of more than 30 monitors from WestEd, subcontractors, and external consultants; content and quality assurance reviews of all written products; and development of annual summary reports.
Allender also serves as an external evaluator for Clark County School District’s (CCSD’s) FY17 MSAP grant. In this capacity, Allender works with a team of WestEd colleagues to conduct a mixed methods evaluation of the implementation of CCSD’s MSAP grant. Allender also leads the implementation evaluation and serves as an advisor for WestEd’s Baltimore County Public Schools’ and Albuquerque Public Schools’ MSAP grants.
Prior to working at WestEd, Allender was a Research Associate at Policy Studies Associates, Inc., where she worked on evaluations on alternate assessments, school libraries in elementary schools, after-school adolescent literacy programs, small-school reform, and school-based collaboration.
Allender has a Master’s in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s in politics from New York University.