Union Square Learning

Union Square Learning is a nonprofit helping educational organizations develop innovative ideas and achieve better results.  We provide education policy advice and insight into solving difficult problems.  We work with school districts and public charter schools to develop strategy, scale up smartly and achieve great things for all students.

Our name is inspired by a meeting place in San Francisco, a grand park in New York City, and one of the most beautiful vistas in Washington, DC, where the United States Capitol meets the National Mall.

David Scarlett Wakelyn

David is founder of Union Square Learning and helped to create 826DC, an after-school writing center.  Previously, at the College Board, David led a team that worked with states and districts to rethink their assessment and accountability policies in support of college and career readiness.  He was also education policy advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo, where he collaborated with colleagues to revamp the state’s teacher evaluation law and successfully negotiated an on-time $53 billion education budget.

From 2005-2011, David was Program Director at the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, where he led projects on high school reform and efforts to improve instruction.  He also worked on the development of the Common Core State Standards.  David is the author of Raising Rigor, Getting Results: Lessons Learned from AP Expansion, “Increasing College Success: A Roadmap for Governors” and is co-author of “Retooling Career Technical Education.”

After graduate school, David worked for America’s Choice School Design and researched efforts to turn around low-performing schools in Chicago and Kentucky.  He began his career as a charter corps member of Teach for America, teaching middle school math for three years in South Central Los Angeles.

David earned a B.A. in American History from Vanderbilt University, a M.A. in Public Policy from the Robert LaFollette Institute and Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.