Tara Bartlett is currently a doctoral student in Arizona State University’s Education Policy Evaluation program. Much of Tara’s research focuses on disadvantaged youth, centered around topics of public participation, community development, and civics efficacy. Her previous 14 years were spent within Title One elementary and middle schools, teaching a hybrid of English Language Arts and Social Studies. As a teacher, Tara implemented various civic programs such as We the People, Girls Tribe, Participatory Budgeting, and Project Citizen. For two of those years, her students’ Project Citizen portfolios won at both the state and national levels.
Tara has experience working on both small and large scale civic engagement projects. Since its inception in 2013, Tara has counseled over 50 Arizona schools in civic learning best practices as committee co-chair on the newly rebranded Civic Education and Community Engagement. Starting in 2014, Tara has been a presenter and mentor for ASU’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders on topics of education, public pedagogy, and civic engagement. From 2015-2018, she worked with Arizona’s Department of Education on the rewriting and adoption of the new History and Social Science State Standards.
In 2017, Tara traveled to Cameroon to facilitate youth civic engagement workshops in partnership with the U.S. State Department and IREX, and in Fall 2020, she will travel to Zambia to help facilitate a project on fostering deliberative and democratic practices in all-girls schools. Currently, Tara is working with iCivics, ASU, Tufts University, and Harvard on the creation of a nation-wide “civic roadmap” for K-12 educators, funded by a grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities and U.S. Department of Education. She is also engaged with ASU and the Center for the Future of Arizona on another grant project awarded by Arizona’s Developmental Disability Council to explore how inclusive approaches to civic learning can affect school climate.
Tara has been recognized by Mesa Public Schools as a Service Learning Award recipient, the Mesa Oriental Masonic Lodge’s Top 20 Teachers, ASU’s Graduate Professional Student Association’s Student Advocacy Award, and by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education’s John J. Ross Memorial Award for her work in community development and civic engagement.