Sarah Fierberg Phillips

2009 Public Policy Summer Fellow

May 1, 2009
Graduate Degree:Brandeis University
Undergraduate Degree:Brown University
Areas of interest:Education
Mentor:Larry DiCara, Nixon Peabody, LLP
Agency:Executive Office of Education
Supervisors:JD LaRock, Policy Director, Beth Peabody, Policy Analyst, and Saeyun Lee, Policy Analyst
Project description:Sarah Phillips spent the summer working at the Executive Office of Education. During the first week of her fellowship, she was able to influence public policy, successfully recommending that the Secretary of Education amend a proposed amendment to the University of Massachusetts’ quasi-endowment policy. With an early victory under her belt, Sarah spent the bulk of her fellowship writing a report on the Readiness Schools legislation. Part of Governor Patrick’s education reform package, this legislation will close persistent achievement gaps by jump starting long-overdue efforts to turn around low-performing schools as well as creating two new types of innovative in-district public schools. Sarah also wrote a series of memos that will help shape the Commonwealth’s application to several federal grant programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Sarah says "With the Rappaport Institute’s support, I was able to enter a world of public policy that I could not have accessed by myself. I worked on the hottest education policy issue of the summer and was able to learn about policy formation while watching policy and politics collide before my eyes. I was even able to see some of my recommendations acted upon immediately by my superiors."