Carolyn Fidelman

Washington, DC, US
Field of Work 
STEM Education
U. S. Department of Education
Job Title or "Student" 
Education Statistician
Boston College
Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
I grew up in the south in the 50s and 60s. Girls were not encouraged to develop their math or engineering skills. I remember being in an Algebra class with girls only in the 9th grade and it was a complete joke. Worse yet, I truly believed I could not do math, in spite of the fact that my father and brother were both mechanical engineers. I never took the coursework in high school that could have gotten me where I eventually ended up career-wise much quicker than I did. Following my parents' wishes I became a French teacher, which was lots of fun--don't get me wrong! But for 25 years I followed that path which was poorly remunerated and which offered little career advancement. And interestingly, even when teaching French I was always getting into research type activities. I always wanted to "measure" and "collect data". What I really wanted was to be a researcher. I finally understood this more clearly about myself at age 50. I had two masters degrees, one in French and the other in instructional technology (yes--I was always a big computer geek too :-) ) What should I do? Is it worth it at that age to get a Ph.D. and in a topic that requires so much math I hadn't had? Well, I jumped off the high dive so to speak and the rest is history. I learned the field of psychometrics, the science of testing, and use that in my job at the U.S. Dept of Education to make sure that when we test kids, we are getting the best information possible about exactly what it is we want to measure, so that schools, parents, members of congress and even the president, have the information they need to make good decisions about our education system. And the best part: I love my job!
Writing/blogging, Working outdoors, Pets, Computing, Video games, Travel
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Field trip participation, Online role model
My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
No Preference
Career exploration activities, Field trip hosting
Program Affiliation 

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