Akisha Osei Sarfo, Ph.D. is the Director of Research for the Council of Great City Schools. Akisha uses her years of experience and interest in program evaluation, experimental and quasi-experimental research design, urban education, race and equity in education, education policy, teacher quality and school accountability to help guide and support research and data use in Council districts. Prior to joining CGCS, Akisha served as senior associate partner at Bellwether Education Partners. Most significantly, Akisha served as Chief Performance Officer at Guilford County Schools in North Carolina, the 47th largest school district in the country. In this role, she led the division of Accountability, Research and Planning which is responsible for research, evaluation, accountability, and grant activities for the district as well as local and state assessments, planning, student information, student and school performance, analysis and reporting. As part of the Superintendent's Cabinet, she focused on the strategic and effective use of data, research and evaluation to inform changes throughout the district with an emphasis on reducing inequities in educational systems, policies and performance. She and her team received the Excellence in Education Data award from Harvard’s Strategic Data Project for her work in Guilford County Schools.
Prior to working in Guilford, Akisha worked as research assistant professor at the Center for Research on Education and Social Policy at the University of Delaware and as a Harvard Strategic Data Project fellow. She has served in other roles conducting research and evaluation at state and federal agencies and in the nonprofit sector. She earned a bachelor’s in Political Science and a master’s in Educational Research Methods from the University of Michigan. She also received her Ph.D. in Education Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics from the University of Delaware and is an AERA Dissertation Fellow.