All Faculty, Staff

Sarah McKenzie

Sarah McKenzie

Executive Director

Office for Education Policy


(EDRE)-Education Reform

Phone: 479-575-3208

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Dr. McKenzie is the Executive Director of the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. A teacher at heart, Sarah has taught students from pre-kindergarten to university level, has provided training and consulting to public school districts, and has presented nationally and internationally on educational statistics.  Since her days as an elementary teacher, Sarah has been an advocate for valid and reliable assessment data for students.  She is passionate about using high quality data with students, teachers and parents to inform their educational decisions.  Dr. McKenzie received her B.S. in literature from Claremont McKenna College, M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Mills College, and Ph.D. in Education Statistics and Research Methods from the University of Arkansas.

Educational Effectiveness

Student Growth Models

Post-secondary Success

Early Childhood Education

Ph.D.  Educational Statistics and Research Methods   August 2009

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.


M.A.  Emphasizing Early Childhood Education and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential  May 1994

Mills College, Oakland, CA.


B.A.  cum laude in Literature   May 1992

Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA.

Recent Policy Briefs

Available at:


Weekly Blog Posting:


Mulvenon, S., Stegman, C., Newgent, R, Daniel, A., McKenzie, S., Lee, S, Ogle N, & Featherston, L. (2008). All Children Excel in School (ACES): Evaluation of Comprehensive Counseling Interventions to Address No Child Left Behind Legislation.  Submitted to the Educational Research and Policy Studies Journal (ERPS).

Mulvenon, S.,Wang, K., McKenzie, S. & Airola, D. (2006). A Case Study: Using Geographic Information Systems for Education Policy Analyses. Educational Research Quarterly. V30, pg. 44-54.

Mulvenon, S., McKenzie, S., Thorn, T. and Williams, T., (2004). Teacher’s Attitudes Towards the Use of Standardized Testing: Implications for Practice. The Arkansas Educational Research and Policy Studies Journal, v3, pg. 61-80.

Department of Education Reform

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.                                     Summer 2019 – Current

Clinical Assistant Professor

Support graduate students in designing, conducting and reporting research.

Develop and conduct grant-funded projects.


Office for Education Policy

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.                                     Winter 2014 – Current

Executive Director

Conduct analysis of varied educational data to inform policy decisions. Oversee broad research agenda and grant funded projects. Write policy briefs, educational reports and weekly blogs about educational issues. Create data visualizations using Tableau. Supervise and support graduate student research. Conduct evaluations of educational initiatives and support school district improvement.


Southwest Regional Education Laboratory                   Winter 2017 – Current

Member, Governing Board

Provide input on the educational needs, in research, policy, and practice, in Arkansas and review and provide input on annual work plan to support the use of research and evidence to help SEAs and LEAs improve their education programs and ultimately student performance for NM, TX, AR, LA, and OK.


National Task Force on Assessment Literacy              Winter 2015 – Spring 2018


Work with members of the task force to develop definition of Assessment Literacy for Teachers, Students, Parents and Policymakers. Develop policy guidance associated with ESSA implementation.




Curriculum Management Systems, Inc, Johnston, IA.    Fall 2010 – Current

Certified Curriculum Auditor

Participate in curriculum audits of public school systems, including classroom walkthroughs, interviews with stakeholders, trend data analysis, and writing of the audit. Audits completed include: Boston Public Schools, Fort Worth Independent School District, Tucson Unified School District, Little Rock School District, Lewisville Independent School District, East St. Louis School District, Leander Independent School District, Klein Independent School District, Pendergast Elementary School District, Aldine Independent School District, McAllen Independent School District.


Fayetteville Public Schools, Fayetteville, AR.                  Fall 2009 – Winter 2014

Director, Assessment, Research and Accountability

Conducted data analysis and interpretation for FPS. Presented information to stakeholder groups. Oversaw all district assessment. Developed Board Policies related to Curriculum and Instruction, Budgeting as well as the FPS curriculum management plan. Conducted evaluations of programs and interventions. Provided professional development to staff.


National Office for Research on Measurement and Evaluation Systems (NORMES)

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.                                     Fall 2003 – Spring 2007

Project / Program Specialist

Oversaw projects and evaluations undertaken by NORMES. Lead statistical programmer in computation of Arkansas’ Adequate Yearly Progress Calculations. Created, maintained and utilized student-level achievement datasets for the state of Arkansas. Worked with the Arkansas Department of Education to develop and implement effective accountability models. Facilitated staff cooperation and collaboration. Directed and assisted graduate assistants in managing databases, statistical programming, summary report writing, grant writing, reviewing literature and researching.


University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.


IDEAS Seminar in Educational Assessment      Summer 2006

Developed and implemented 60 hour seminar designed for principals, program directors, curriculum supervisors, and teacher leaders interested in building their professional knowledge in the field of educational assessment. Topics included: basic statistics, measurement theory, and current policy in education.

EDFD 5393- Educational Assessment                   Summer 2005

Developed and implemented 5000-level course in Educational Assessment. Topics included: Basic Statistics, measurement theory, and current policy in education.



National Office for Rural Measurement and Evaluation Systems/

Office of Research, Measurement and Evaluation        Spring 2002 - Fall 2003

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.

Senior Graduate Researcher

Primary student member of the Community Cares funded ACES project in Springdale, AR. Collect and clean data collected from teachers. Write programs in SAS to analyze data and interpret the results. Present results to teachers, principals, school district administrators and funding agency.


Central's Center for Children Fayetteville, AR.               Fall 2000 - Fall 2001

Lead Preschool Teacher

Developed and implemented curriculum for children two- and four-years old.

Created assessments and conducted parent conferences.


Tassajara Hills Elementary School Danville, CA.           Fall 1997 - Spring 1999

San Ramon Valley Unified School District

Third Grade Teacher


Greenbrook Elementary School Danville, CA.                Fall 1994 - Spring 1997

San Ramon Valley Unified School District

Second and Third Grade Teacher

Superior Service- 2017