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Billie-Jo Grant, Board of Director

Dr. Grant has dedicated her career to the improvement of childhood education and the prevention of school employee sexual abuse through educational research and evaluation. She has conducted two IRB approved studies on educator sexual abuse and has contributed numerous publications and presentations to the field including Edweek’s, “The Challenges of Keeping Sexual Predators Out of the Classroom”

Billie-Jo holds a Ph.D. in Educational Research, Statistics, and Evaluation from the University of Virginia and is currently a Senior Impact Research Scientist for Macmillan Learning. She has substantial experience in the design, administration and analyses of randomized controlled trials and mixed-methods research. Her dissertation focused on examining Virginia State and local-level educator sexual abuse policies and her study identified multiple loopholes that allow sexual predators to get hired and re-hired in our school systems.

 

Dr. Grant was the Principal Investigator for a Department of Justice School Safety study titled Sexual Misconduct by School Employees: Policy Implementation and Effectiveness. This two-year multi-centered study involved document collection, interviews, and focus groups with school employees and county officials directly and indirectly involved with incidents of school employee sexual misconduct across the U.S. The purpose of the study is to learn from school districts who have recently had incidents of school employee sexual misconduct in order to develop updated best practices for preventing and responding to these types of incidences.

Dr. Grant also serves as a faculty member at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo and has taught graduate courses on statistics, survey design, measurement theory, and qualitative and quantitative methods.  She has worked as a volunteer with legal aid groups, providing educational advocacy for low-income children.

In addition to being an accomplish researcher, Billie-Jo has two children and is a four-time All-American NCAA Track and Field athlete.

What do you hope to accomplish with S.E.S.A.M.E.?

My goal as a member of S.E.S.A.M.E. is to find funding to conduct much needed research in this area. First and foremost I hope to work with S.E.S.A.M.E.’s team to apply for funding to conduct an updated generalizable student prevalence study (the last survey was collected in 2000). Without a more accurate prevalence rate of school employee misconduct, policymakers and school officials do not have the data needed to make informed decisions regarding school employee sexual misconduct prevention and investigation. This study is needed to better protect students and keep molesting school employees out of our schools.

In addition to research, I hope to make a difference by creating public awareness, assisting victims and survivors, advocating for improved policies and laws, and developing better training for students and staff.