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Transforming the use of data in education to improve student achievement

About the Fellowship

Applications for Cohort 7 (2015-16 academic year) now available:

The SDP Fellowship is a two-year program that places and develops talented data strategists in partner agencies where they can have an immediate impact on policy decisions that affect student outcomes. Data strategists are education professionals revolutionizing how data are collected, analyzed, and shared with key stakeholders to improve outcomes for students.

Fellows receive a rich complement of professional development designed to boost skills and knowledge in three key areas:

  1. measurement and analysis,
  2. leadership and change management, and
  3. education policy.

Our goal is to provide a premier professional experience that exposes fellows to the best and most current research in education reform, supports their analytic skill-building, and links them to a growing, national network of talented data strategists who are singularly focused on improving student outcomes in America's public schools.

Learn more about the SDP Fellowship from the fellows themselves:


Every October a new cohort of fellows is launched and joins our ever-growing network across the country. The program comprises two kinds of fellows—data fellows and agency fellows. 

  • Data fellows are recruited by SDP via a nationwide search and matched to an SDP partner organization, where they serve as full-time, paid employees. Data fellows report to senior managers and have direct access to system leaders, ensuring strategic, impactful, and purposeful work.
  • Agency fellows are current partner agency employees who have been identified as analytic leaders in their agency. They are selected by SDP and their agency to participate in the fellows program for the same two-year period. 

Fellows are expected to:

  • comprehensively study a set of focus issues defined by the agency using rigorous data analysis;
  • become experts in their topic areas;
  • significantly contribute to their agencies' policymaking, leadership, and strategic development;
  • participate in eight workshops over the two years; and
  • engage in virtual professional development that includes webinars and book clubs.


SDP has partnered with 75 school districts, charter management organizations, state education agencies, and nonprofit education organizations. Fellows work on one or two focus issues in great depth, helping their partner agencies address strategic challenges that benefit from—and may fundamentally depend on—robust and advanced analysis. Fellows also provide needed analytical talent and support to other projects in the agency.
Learn more about becoming an SDP Partner and hosting a fellow.

As a data strategist, I make numbers talk.

– Richard Bowman, SDP Fellow Alumnus and Chief Accountability and Strategy Officer, Santa Fe Public Schools
Richard Bowman