Amanda Danks

Senior Researcher

Amanda Danks is a senior researcher at AIR with extensive experience supporting investigations aimed at enhancing equity and opportunity for learners of all backgrounds and abilities. Dr. Danks is the associate director of the Economic Evaluation of Policies and Programs (EEPP) Methods Hub at AIR, that ensures all economic evaluations at AIR are conducted rigorously and follow the Standards for Economic Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs (CASP, 2021). She currently manages a variety of cost analysis projects associated with statewide policies undertaken by Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Texas along with targeted programs implemented by the Legal Aid Society of New York and the Duke Endowment Fund. Dr. Danks has extensive experience in evaluating educational programs and policies, with a particular focus on special education and digital learning, and is an affiliate of the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to working in educational research, Dr. Danks came to education through an alternative teaching certification program in Baltimore City, Maryland. Her teaching experience included supporting students with high incidence disabilities, while her administrative experience focused on students with significant cognitive disabilities. Dr. Danks was recruited to testify for the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee about the legislation of appropriate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities. After a decade of work with students in West Baltimore, she transitioned to a state-level position at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. There she managed the policies and guidance for students with disabilities and English learners in the statewide assessment program. Dr. Danks completed her Ph.D. at North Carolina State University in the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis program in 2021, where her training focused on the economics of education and methods of cost analysis.

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Ph.D., Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, North Carolina State University; M.A., Leadership in Teaching—Specialization in Special Education, University of Notre Dame in Maryland; B.S., Psychology, Bethany College