Joel Rabin has more than 20 years of data and reporting experience in higher education, public sector management, and K12 school districts. He worked in two of the largest school districts in California as well serving as an Associate Superintendent in one of the most diverse school districts in the country. He began his career more than 20 years ago studying organizational change, and continues to be passionate about making data discoveries, story-telling with data, and leading improvement efforts.
In 2001, Joel earned a PhD in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA, where he worked with the LAPD on a multi-year action research study of change management. During his tenure, he also worked in University health education and residential life, bridging educational theory, research, and practice.
Joel began his career in K12 data and reporting in 2003, with a focus on helping students graduate as college and career ready; improving school climate and culture; and supporting traditionally underrepresented groups like English Learners and students of poverty. He has worked with some of the largest school districts in California to improve outcomes for California youth.
As a research analyst in Elk Grove Unified School District, Joel coordinated assessments and facilitated district task forces to increase graduation rates, improve student unity, and create better outcomes for English Learners. Later, in Fresno Unified School District, Joel worked on a team to implement a new student information system and facilitated a community task force to increase graduation and college readiness.
Returning to Sacramento in 2012, Joel built a research and data department in the Natomas Unified School District along with leading information technology systems. Through Joel’s leadership, Natomas successfully launched a new student information system; implemented a data analytics tool that provides teachers and leaders access to real-time data; launched a knowledge base to document key systems and processes; created a bi-annual District Progress Report; prepared numerous infographics that detail student achievement and growth; led the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and accountability systems; and implemented a system of data driven decision making.
As an Associate Superintendent and member of Natomas Unified School District’s executive leadership team, Joel prepared and presented more than 40 Board presentations on student achievement; school climate and culture; high school outcomes; and other key measures of student success. Through these reports and his leadership developing data and reporting systems, he contributed to significant improvements in student outcomes.
During his seven years in Natomas, where 6 in 10 students are low income, the graduation rate rose from 85% to 96%, including a grad rate of 94% for Latinx students and 96% for African American students. The CSU/UC a-g rate rose from 42% to 70%, and in 2018 the college-going was 68%. These are some of the highest rates in the Sacramento County, and top California’s rates by 10-20%.
Joel remains passionate about creating new possibilities for people and their organizations by using data to inform and to inspire others. Throughout his career, Joel led improvement processes, data analyses, technology implementations, community task forces, and built systems that support student success. Joel has developed a set of skills and processes that merge the art and science of data reporting to tell compelling stories through presentations, slideshows, reports and infographics.