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David Powell

Stand for Children
Government Affairs Director
As Government Affairs Director, Dave oversees Stand Washington’s political and policy program. 
He is proudest of his lead role advocacting for a statewide Academic Acceleration policy that enrolls more students of color in AP classes, modeled after Federal Way’s program, and passed by the state legislature in 2012. Dave was also instrumental in writing and championing policies that incorporate student learning in teacher and principal evaluations, establish the option of public charter schools in Washington State, and increase the number of students taking AP Computer Science courses.

Dave has devoted his ten-year career to closing achievement gaps in education after teaching science to students with disabilities and English language learners at a high-poverty middle school in South Bronx. There he witnessed stark differences in the opportunities and achievement of the students in his Bronx classroom compared to students in his mother's classroom (she was a lifelong educator in suburban Ohio). The potential of the students was the same, but expectations, policies and resources failed to harness the full potential of the students who were living in poverty. Since then, he was working in education policy with a tireless drive to close the achievement and opportunity gap and provide every student with a fair chance to succeed.          

Dave believes that like other social movements, large-scale improvements in educational inequity must be driven by public demand for change. His focus on involving the community in advocacy brought him to Stand for Children Washington in 2010, where he served first as the Policy Director and then the Government Affairs Director.

Prior to joining Stand, Dave worked as a curriculum developer for The New Teacher Project and a researcher with The National Council on Teacher Quality, focusing on how Colleges of Education can better prepare teachers for the challenges of the profession. To deepen his understanding of the role of culture in education, Dave spent two years in China teaching classes on English and American Culture to university students.

Dave holds a B.A. in Biology from the College of Wooster and an M.S. in Teaching from Fordham University. He serves on the board of STEP Ahead, a college preparatory after-school program at Seattle’s Cleveland High School. He enjoys backpacking in the Northwest and international travel, and has visited 35 countries. Dave also founded and co-owns the Urban Family Brewery, Public House and Distribution Company in Ballard.