Sandy A. Schmitz, Ph.D.

Sandy Schmitz
Assistant Director, Iowa Reading Research Center

Sandy Schmitz earned her Ph.D. in education administration at Iowa State University. She spent the first eight years of her career as a teacher for students who are deaf and hard of hearing and as a transition specialist serving students with disabilities transitioning from high school to post-school life. Dr. Schmitz has held leadership positions at the national, state, and local level ensuring compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well data analytics and systems improvement initiatives designed to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. During her tenure at national and regional centers, she has worked with state and local data teams to determine root causes of poor performance in outcome areas including reading and graduation. Her work also has included facilitating and coordinating internal and external stakeholder groups to ensure optimal collaboration and support towards improving systems.

Recent Blog Posts

SMART goal

Goal Setting and Progress Monitoring to Address a Literacy Issue: The PROPeL Initiative

Address a literacy challenge by setting a SMART goal, establishing benchmarks in the journey toward that goal, tracking the entire process using progress monitoring, and modifying instruction when progress monitoring suggests you should.
Tree roots covered in moss

Ensuring Focus on the Right Issues to Improve Literacy: the PROPeL Initiative

By conducting a root cause analysis, schools and districts can identify the fundamental reasons for a literacy challenge. Learn the three types of root causes and how to verify you have actually identified the root causes.
Three teachers

Getting the Work Started: The PROPeL Initiative

School districts involved in the Iowa Reading Research Center’s PROPeL initiative form their local teams and write literacy challenge statements using student literacy data.