Interns Making an Impact
Molly Hannon
Interns Making an Impact

Two Master of Public Policy students spend their summers with Richmond Public Schools

A summer internship can hold little meaning for some students—something squeezed onto a resume to show that you did more than binge on Netflix all summer with your cat.

This is hardly the case for Batten Master of Public Policy (MPP) students Juliet Buesing (dual degree with UVA School of Law, JD) and Kylie Anglin (dual degree with UVA Curry School, PhD), who both spent their summers interning with Richmond Public Schools (RPS).

As part of a nascent partnership between the Curry School’s EdPolicyWorks program and Richmond Public Schools, MPP students like Buesing and Anglin get the chance to take the skills and knowledge they acquire during the academic year and put them into practice.

A defining feature of EdPolicyWorks is the value it places on data-informed de- cision making, espeically when it comes to better understanding education-based policy decisions, including what ac- counts for them and how they can be im- proved through data-informed research.

Each student made significant con- tributions. Anglin worked to create a data infrastructure for future descriptive and causal analyses on RPS programs, resources and policies. In addition, she helped the district plan for their upcom- ing resource needs, predicting future pur- chasing requirements based on previous resource use.

Richmond Public School’s chief operating officer, Darin Simmons, praised the students, saying, “Juliet and Kylie’s work helped us to assess and improve current systems and processes, and put us on the path to being a division that uses data-in- formed decision making.”

He went on to say, “Juliet Buesing in particular did a fantastic job of iden- tifying the gaps in our data systems. She also provided thoughtful ideas and strategies to improve our operations, and helped us get several data integrity projects off the ground.”

In addition to these projects, Buesing spearheaded a less-expected one: a bath- room renovation. The MPP/JD candidate not only got her hands dirty, she did so enthusiastically without any qualms. In a phone interview, she relayed how the RPS facilities were much maligned and in need of a bit of a face-lift. From deter- mining the bathroom renovation needs to coordinating the process for ordering supplies to organizing the renovation teams, Buesing took charge. She reflected on her entire experience as a positive one, pointing out the many different factors that go into improving education—facilities being no exception.

Stacks of paper

How can we use this data to better understand and help inform RPS policy decisions to improve student outcomes?


On the new partnership, Curry professor and director of Ed- PolicyWorks Jim Wyckoff noted that although the partnership is still in its infancy, he is looking forward to working more closely with RPS. He said, “We’re there first to listen and then to figure out how we can help. Using data-informed decision making, we plan to examine the last ten years of performance in Richmond Public Schools. What are the trends, if any? Are there any im- provements, and if so, what might account for them? Further- more, how can we use this data to better understand and help inform RPS policy decisions to improve student outcomes?”

In the end, he said, it is the students that make the program thrive. "They're not only engaged but keen on discovering new things—a quality that Batten instills in its students.”


Kylie is an Institute of Eduction Sciences (IES) pre-doctoral fellow in the education policy program at the Curry School of Education. She earned her MPP from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy in May 2018. Originally from Texas, Kylie holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Southwestern University and a post-baccalaureate degree in mathematics from Northwestern University. Before joining EdPolicyWorks, Kylie worked as a 7th-grade teacher in rural Arkansas, and as an evaluator for an after-school program in Chicago. Her current research interests include the impact of educational deregulation on district behavior, student outcomes and equity. She is also passionate about evaluating and improving the methodologies we use to determine the efficacy of educational policies and initiatives.


Juliet is a joint JD-MPP student at the University of Virginia. Prior to coming to Charlottesville, Juliet worked as a public school teacher in Boston for five years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Yale and a Master of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts. In her spare time, she sings in a local jazz band and enjoys hiking with her dog, Coby.