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Carol PazeraCarol Pazera, M.A., M.S.
Evaluation Lead

Phone: 512.471.9226

Dana Center Role

Carol serves as the evaluation lead at the Dana Center, conducting both quantitative and qualitative research and analysis.

Carol plans, designs, and manages impact studies of a family of projects that facilitates a successful transition from high school to college; builds the capabilities and desire of students to engage, persist, and succeed in math and science; and introduces the educators who serve them to a powerful body of research and practice. She liaises with external organizations and fellows to bring a variety of expertise to impact measurement and to ensure that the voices of students and families are centered in the work.

Carol plays a lead role in the Center’s collaboration with a consortium of organizations field testing high school science curricula. She leads the OpenSciEd Data Team, responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data from hundreds of teachers and over a thousand students in 10 states. Results are used to improve science materials to be released nationwide as free, open-source curricula.

Collaborating with Center staff, Carol develops funding proposals and reports. She works to increase the staff’s capacity around evaluation by, for instance, collaboratively developing logic models and data collection instruments, and facilitating the use of evidence in continuous improvement efforts. Also in collaboration, Carol develops data-sharing agreements, memorandums of understanding, and other contracts to obtain institutional-and state-level data.

Before Joining the Dana Center

As the evaluation lead at the Austin Independent School District, Carol designed and conducted evaluations of programs. She guided and assisted program staff in the evaluation process, from developing ideas for evaluation topics to interpreting results for use in program improvement.

Carol led the evaluation of the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE)program, producing several publications that guided program change, presenting at various events, and representingthe district in a local coalition. Carol also conducted research on access to postsecondary education, especially for Hispanic graduates, and strategies for eliminating the enrollment gap.

Previously, Carol was executive director and vice president of evaluation at True Brilliance, a nonprofit that helped teens experiencing disciplinary issues in high school. She designed and implemented rigorous program evaluation that involved a randomized control trial.


M.S., Community and Regional Planning, The University of Texas at Austin

M.A., Latin American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

B.A., Secondary Education/Social Studies, University of Illinois, Champaign

Selected Publications

Pazera, C. (2016). Postsecondary employment and earnings outcomes for 2013 graduates with industry certifications (Publication 15.54 RB). Austin, TX: Austin Independent School District.

Looby, K., Pazera, C., & Stelling, L. (2015). Austin Partners in Education: Annual evaluation report, 2014–2015 (Publication 14.142). Austin, TX: Austin Independent School District.

Pazera, C. (2015) How to increase postsecondary enrollment of Hispanic graduates: Recommendations from college and career advisors (Publication 14.137). Austin, TX: Austin Independent School District.

Pazera, C. (2015). 2015 high school exit survey: Comparison of responses of career and technical education concentrators with those of their peers (Publication 14.145). Austin, TX: Austin Independent School District.

Selected Presentations

Characteristics and performance of career and technical education students. Presented at the Forum on CTE—Focusing Efforts on the Future, Austin, TX (February 2015).

How to measure program success and tell a powerful story. Presented at the Texas Career Education Conference of the Career and Technical Association of Texas, Austin, TX (February 2014).

Professional Memberships

American Educational Research Association