Jane R. Best, Ph.D. – Director, Arts Education Partnership

Jane Best directs the Arts Education Partnership, a center dedicated to securing high quality arts education for children. She has extensive experience working among practitioners, policymakers and researchers. Prior to joining Education Commission of the States, she was the Chief Development Officer at My Student Survey and the Chief Strategy Officer for McREL International. She has also worked for Learning Point Associates (now American Institutes for Research) and the National Conference of State Legislatures. She started her career in education as a high school French and ESL teacher in Columbus, Ohio. Jane holds a Ph.D. in education policy from Vanderbilt University, a M.A. in education from The Ohio State University and a B.A. in communications with a minor in art history from Indiana University. Jane can be reached at


Scott Jones – Senior Associate, Research and Policy

Scott D. Jones is the Senior Associate for the Arts Education Partnership (AEP). Since 2012, Scott has overseen the development and implementation of AEP’s research and policy initiatives, including the AEP 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education, the continued expansion of ArtsEdSearch and ArtScan, and the release of new publications. Prior to joining AEP, he worked for the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), served as an Adjunct Instructor in the Indiana University Arts Management Program and chaired the Bloomington Community Arts Commission. He holds an MA in Arts Administration from Indiana University, a BA in music education and vocal performance from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and studied public affairs at Indiana University. Although now located in Denver, Scott is a proud Midwesterner and a devoted fan of both the Chicago Cubs and the Green Bay Packers. Scott can be reached at

Kate Wolff
 – External Affairs Coordinator 

Kate Wolff is the external affairs coordinator for the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) and a member of Education Commission of the States’ State Relations team. In this dual role, Kate works closely with AEP partner organizations across the country to engage and inform their efforts to expand access to the arts in education and serves as a resource on broader education policy issues for Education Commission of the States Commissioners and states in the mid-Atlantic and Eastern parts of the U.S. Prior to joining Education Commission of the States, Kate served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a variety of capacities in the Office of the Secretary, the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, and the Administration for Children and Families. Kate enjoys living in our nation’s capital, taking advantage of free museums and getting around the city car-free. Kate can be reached at

Cassandra Quillen – Communications Specialist

Cassandra Quillen serves and supports the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) as a Communications Specialist with Education Commission of the States. Prior to joining Education Commission of the States in May 2016, Cassandra worked in Providence, R.I. as a communications and member engagement coordinator at a postsecondary institution member organization and also as a communications/engagement assistant for a public/private partnership initiative consisting of Rhode Island’s 11 colleges and universities. Cassandra earned her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and her master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. In her free time, Cassandra enjoys hiking, hanging out with her two dogs, listening to music and spending time with friends. Cassandra can be reached at