Jana Martella staff portrait



An experienced educator and program manager, Jana Martella works to improve educational policies, opportunities, and services for young children. Over her 30-year career as a state legislative liaison, coordinator for federal programs, school administrator, and teacher, she has advanced multiple initiatives designed to promote evidence- and standards-based reform in early education.

As co-director of the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO), Martella oversees the delivery of technical assistance and policy advice to state education agency offices and 22 federally funded Content and Regional Centers in the Federal Comprehensive Centers Program. She also supports early childhood systems building, expands on research findings on policies and practices that promote school readiness, and assists states in the improvement of early childhood accountability mechanisms that support child development and learning.

Prior to joining EDC, Martella was the executive director of the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education and the National Association for Regulatory Administration.

Martella holds MS degrees from Johns Hopkins University and San Diego State University.

“Access to high-quality early learning experiences sets a sound foundation for a child’s success in school and life.”

Speaking Highlights

The Common Thread: Crafting a Coherent Accountability System Focused on Great Teaching

Co-presenter, 2015 National QRIS Network Conference
National Harbor, MD
July 16, 2015

Early Learning as a School Improvement Intervention

Co-presenter, 2015 National Title I Conference
Salt Lake City, UT
February 2015

Can We Stop the Insanity? Creating Coherent Policy that Truly Supports Great Teaching and Learning for All Young Children from Birth through Kindergarten

Co-presenter, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development (PDI)
New Orleans, LA

Early Learning Chiropractory: Can We Make Standards Alignment a Little Less Painful?

Minneapolis, MN
June 2014

Tapping Teacher Evaluation Using Child-Level Data to Improve Teaching for All

DaSy Early Childhood Data Conference
September 2014


Blog Posts

"Leading in Times of Transition or How to Dance During an Earthquake"
Preschool Matters Today, National Institute for Early Education Research, January 27, 2017

Selected Publications

Connors-Tadros, L., Dunn, L., Martella, J., & McCauley, C. (2015). Incorporating early learning strategies in the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program: How three schools integrated early childhood strategies into school turnaround efforts to improve instruction for all students. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research.

Martella, J., & Connors-Tadros, L. (2014). Evaluating early childhood educators prekindergarten through third grade: Supplement to the practical guide to designing comprehensive educator evaluation systems. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.

Selected Resources


This brief describes EDC’s deep commitment to ensuring that all young children have the support they need during the critical early childhood window of time.


This report, published by the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) and the Center on School Turnaround (CST), describes how three schools in Massachusetts, Missouri, and Nebraska int


This report, jointly developed by the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) and the BUILD Initiative, shares findings from a think tank and working group in which early childhood lead

Resource libraries

This resource library from the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) contains policy reports, briefs, annotated bibliographies, and other tools targeted to help early childhood educat