Randy Simmons, the Executive Director and founder of Bridges Data and Professional Development, has been a data analyst on Long Island for twenty-five years, studying educational achievement as well as youth and community needs. Since 2005, Bridges Data and Professional Development has partnered with districts to support their use of data to inform instruction. Recent decisions by the Board of Regents and the NYS Department of Education to implement Common Core Standards and Assessments have raised the standards for proficiency and pose a challenge to NYS educators. Randy was invited by NYSED to participate as a DATAG board-member in the first NYS Network Team Institute in August 2011. Randy has since expanded on his understanding of NYS Standards and related assessments through the study of the related national research by Gregory Cizek, Norman Webb, Karen Hess and others. In the last two years, Randy has assisted Long Island districts in the development of aligned and rigorous interim assessments. Despite recent challenges related to the potential for school and student improvement using aligned interim assessments and instructional "action planning" informed by data.
Prior to establishing Bridges in 2005, Randy served as the Coordinator of Planning and Research for the Nassau County Youth Board for a decade before coming to Nassau BOCES in 2001. Randy has taught at both SUNY-Stony Brook and Hofstra University's Sociology Departments on a series of topics related to youth, education and social change. Randy was a founding member of the Executive Council and Board of Directors of DATAG - the New York State Data and Technical Assistance Group, which now serves hundreds of DATAG members annually through its meetings, conferences, and listserv. Randy served on DATAG's governing board for ten years from 2002 to 2012.