For the past nine years, ‘free time’ has been a foreign concept for School Law Attorney Leigh Dalton, who recently earned her Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
What started as a way to better understand the relationship between public policy and legal decision-making in the courts, turned into nearly a decade of research for her over 400-page dissertation, “Borrowing Strength” to Equitably Distribute Highly Qualified and Highly Effective Teachers as a Means to Close the Achievement Gap in Ten States.
“My research examined: ten states’ efforts to equitably distribute highly qualified and highly effective teachers over an eight-year period, how the United States Department of Education held those ten states accountable to their equitable distribution efforts, and whether such efforts had any effect in closing those states’ achievement gaps over the past ten years,” she said.
Though her hard work has certainly paid off, the road to success has not been free of challenges. In the midst of her Doctoral pursuit, Leigh attended and graduated from law school, passed the Pennsylvania Bar Exam, got married and started a family, and held full-time employment for the entire nine-year period — most recently as the Director of the York County Truancy Prevention Initiative for the United Way of York County until 2013, and then as an Associate attorney at Stock and Leader. She carries the diverse expertise that is necessary to fully support the needs of school district clients in the modern age — when decisions matter.
Click here to watch UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski III as he highlights Dr. Dalton and other graduates during the 2015 Spring Commencement Ceremony.