Carla Howe
Carla Howe, Ph.D.
Technical Assistance Lead

What do you do at AEM?

I lead a team of experts who guide customers with design, development, implementation, and use of data systems for decision-making purposes. We primarily support State Education Agencies, but we also work with school districts, other government agencies and partner organizations. 

Our team has all previously worked in agencies that developed and implemented Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, so we have experience and empathy to help guide folks. We support a range of technical assistance activities: everything from going onsite to facilitate meetings to hosting a webinar on a particular topic of interest to the community to helping to foster collaboration and partnership among states so that they have their own networks to rely on and reach out to. 

Although we bring knowledge and expertise about data systems, the biggest challenge to the success of these systems can actually be the people who use them. Data is an asset across an entire agency—so it’s not just about the technical specifications of a system, but how everyone across an agency engages with and uses the information. Our job is to help build the capacity across an entire agency. We support states to engage stakeholders in design and development and use so there aren’t any surprises. It’s important to create trust in the system, trust in the data, and trust in the final reports—which means reaching folks in all program areas. Policymakers, teachers, and administrators rely on our work. 

What kind of people succeed here?

It sounds silly to say “good people,” but our people are good in all kinds of ways. They are good at learning, connecting with people, being part of a team… they are good at figuring out how to get work done when there are competing priorities. They are good at building trust and know who they can go to to ask for help when it’s needed. They know their strengths and the strengths of their team. 

How does AEM compare to previous places you’ve worked?

Some of our new hires are surprised our people aren’t all located at our corporate headquarters. AEM’s remote practice means we get great people from across the country who were in the right positions, have the right experience, and excel in their roles, so they bring true experience to their work here. Regardless of whether they are in KS, FL, or TN, we seek the best people to provide support.