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Advisory Board

Tracine Asberry

Board of Education Director , Minneapolis Public Schools

Sir Michael Barber

Chief Education Advisor, Pearson International

Cynthia G. Brown

Director of Education Policy, Center for American Progress

David Chard

Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Southern Methodist University (SMU)

Andrew Chen

President, EduTron

Celine Coggins

Founder and CEO, Teach Plus

Sondra Erickson

Representative, Minnesota House of Representatives

T. Willard Fair

President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Miami

Michael Feinberg

Founder, KIPP

Elie Gaines

President and Consultant, All Schools Considered

Michael Goldstein

CEO and Founder, The Match School, Massachusetts

Eric A. Hanushek

Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution

Frederick M. Hess

Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

E.D. Hirsch

Author and Founder, Core Knowledge Foundation

Michael Johnston

State Senator, Colorado

Joel I. Klein

CEO & Executive VP, News Corporation

Wendy Kopp

Founder and Chairman, Teach For America

James Larson

Director of Special Projects, Educators 4 Excellence

Amy Jo Leonard

Education Specialist, Turtle Mountain Elementary School

Robert H. Pasternack

Senior Vice President, Cambium Learning Group

Michael Podgursky

Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Missouri - Columbia

Dr. Stefanie Sanford

Chief, Global Policy & Advocacy, The College Board

 

Tracine Asberry

Board of Education Director
Tracine grew up in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest of eight children. Her parents instilled in her a firm belief in education as the practice of freedom to reach her full potential and to give back to family and community. While teaching full time for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), Tracine earned both a masters degree in elementary education and a doctorate degree in critical pedagogy. As a former Bush Leadership Fellow, Tracine has held academic appointments at college/university teacher education programs and conducted research focused family engagement. As a current MPS Board Director, Tracine believes it is the responsibility of schools to identify and correct practices and policies that perpetuate the achievement gap and institutional racism in all forms to provide all students with the opportunity to succeed.
 

Sir Michael Barber

Chief Education Advisor
Michael  joined Pearson in 2012 in the newly created position of Chief Education Advisor. Formerly a Partner at McKinsey and Company, leading its global education practice, he has been working on major challenges of performance, organization and reform in government and the public services, especially education, in the USA, UK and other countries. From 2001-2005 he was the Founder and first Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit where he was responsible for the oversight of implementation of Tony Blair's priority programs including education. From 1997-2001, Michael was Chief Adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Education on School Standards, responsible for the implementation of the government's school reform program. Prior to joining government he was a Professor at the Institute of Education, University of London. He is the author of Instruction to Deliver and numerous other books and articles.

 

Cynthia G. Brown

Director of Education Policy
Cynthia is Director of Education Policy at the Center for American Progress and served as Director of the Renewing our Schools, Securing our Future National Task Force on Public Education. She has spent over 35 years working in a variety of professional positions addressing high-quality, equitable public education.  Cynthia was appointed by President Carter as the first Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to that position, she served with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare's (HEW) Office for Civil Rights, the nonprofit Equality Center, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law, the Children's Defense Fund. She serves on the on the Board of Directors of the American Youth Policy Forum and Hyde Leadership Public Charter School and on the Education Advisory Committee for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She has an MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a BA from Oberlin College.
 

David Chard

Dean
David was a public school teacher in California and a Peace Corps educator in Africa. He also served on the faculties of Boston University and the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to arriving at SMU, he was associate dean for curriculum and academic programs in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. He specializes in reading and math strategies for the early grades, special education and instructional methods for students with disabilities. He has published more than 30 research articles and co-authored 12 books. A principal investigator for several federal research projects in reading and math curricula, David is also a member of the International Academy for Research on Learning Disabilities and a past president of the Division for Research at the Council for Exceptional Children. He was appointed in 2012 by President Obama to serve on the National Board of Directors of the Institute for Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education.
 

Andrew Chen

President
Andrew is the President of EduTron Corporation. Before founding EduTron he was a physics professor and a principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently serves on the Mathematics and Science Advisory Council for the Massachusetts Board of Education. Andrew provides high quality professional development in mathematics and science to teachers at all levels in Intensive Immersion Institutes. He works with school districts and school administrators to increase their capacity to support excellent mathematics and science instruction. He also works with higher education institutions to develop rigorous and effective pre-service and in-service preparation in mathematics and science. He leads a group working closely with teachers and college professors to develop CLEAR Math, intelligent courseware now in use with very positive outcomes in more than 35 school districts in Massachusetts. Andrew received a BA in physics from National Taiwan University and a PhD in physics from Columbia University.
 

Celine Coggins

Founder and CEO
Celine is the founder and CEO of Teach Plus. Coggins is a former teacher and current Mind Trust Education Entrepreneur Fellow. She has a background that includes research, policy and K-12 teaching. She originally launched Teach Plus in 2007 as a subsidiary of the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy in Cambridge, MA and incorporated it as an independent 501c3 in 2009. She has been a labor-management consultant in Providence, RI as well as Worcester and Springfield, MA and was formerly special assistant to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education on teacher quality. She is the author of more than two dozen reports and journal articles and the editor of two books. She earned her Ph.D. in Education Policy Analysis from Stanford University.

 

Sondra Erickson

Representative

Sondra has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1998 (non-consecutive). A retired English teacher of 35 years, she is former chair of Education Policy/Reform and now serves as the GOP lead and is a 14-year-member of K-12 Education Finance Committee. In 1992, former Gov. Arne Carlson named her a member of the Minnesota Board of Teaching on which she served until her legislative election in January 1998. Sondra shepherded several reforms through the Minnesota Legislature during the 2011-2012 session: alternative pathway to teacher licensure, reform to basic test requirement for teacher candidates, a framework for teacher evaluation, a framework for principal evaluation, reading literacy intervention during K-3, changes to evaluation period for non-tenured teachers, allowing eligibility of chemistry and other science courses for career-technical course-credit and changes to "last in, first out" policy.

 

T. Willard Fair

President & CEO
T. Willard  was born in Winston-Salem, N.C., the youngest of seven siblings. He has a BA in sociology from Johnson C. Smith University and an MSW  from Atlanta University School of Social Work. While in Atlanta, he volunteered with the student non-violent movement and in 1963, at the age of 24,  became the youngest President and CEO in the history of the National Urban League movement. Fair’s efforts led to the development of the Equal Employment Opportunity Task Force, which to this day prohibits discrimination in the workplace.  During the last two decades he has turned his attention to fighting for equal rights through educational advancement. Today he continues to implement a series of programs that work to close the achievement gap between black children in Liberty City and the rest of the state. T. Willard has served as an adjunct professor at the Atlanta University School of Social Work, Bethune Cookman College, FIU, and National Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Center for Urban Leadership. Fair has received more than 200 service and recognition awards for promoting education and civil rights
 

Michael Feinberg

Founder
Mike, Co-Founder of the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Foundation, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a Teach For America alumnus. Feinberg and Dave Levin launched KIPP in 1994 for 50 5th graders in Houston and established KIPP Academy Houston a year later. Through Feinberg's leadership, KIPP has grown into a network of 38 high-performing public schools serving 6,000 students in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Feinberg has been awarded the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service from the City of Houston; the Crystal Award; the Seed of Freedom Award by the Gulfton Area Neighborhood Organization (GANO); and the Heritage Foundation's Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship. KIPP has been featured on CBS Sixty Minutes and ABC World News Tonight, and in The New York TimesHouston ChronicleWashington Post, and more.


 

Elie Gaines

President and Consultant
Elie has served education for over 30 years years. She earned a BA in Early Childhood and Special Education and an MEd. from Northern Arizona University, and an MA in Elementary Education Math and Science from University of Missouri-­Kansas City. She taught in K-­2 classrooms in private and public schools, served three years as a PS-­6th grade elementary school Principal, and has been a National Consultant for the Core Knowledge Foundation since 2001. She was a 2004 Arizona recipient of a Milken National Educator Award and serves on various local, state, and national boards and committees in support of PS-­20 education and education reform. She co-­wrote a school charter approved by the AZ State Board for Charter Schools in 2013. She remains involved with schools and families as the lead school search consultant in her own school search business. Her areas of expertise are curriculum, leadership, and school systems.

 

Michael Goldstein

CEO and Founder
Michael is the founder and CEO of the Media and Technology Charter High (MATCH) School in Boston. The school prepares students, mostly from low-income black and Hispanic families, to go on to succeed in 4-year colleges. MATCH has a teacher induction program called the MATCH Corps. A variant of Teach For America, 45 top recent college graduates from across the nation spend 50 hours per week for one year *tutoring* inner-city students 1-on-1, rather than trying to "teach" (i.e., lead groups of 15 to 30). The MATCH Corps idea is to allow young professionals to experience getting individual kids to make huge achievement gains, rather than the typical frustrating first year of trying to master basic classroom management. Michael is a former journalist, having written for Business WeekNew York Magazine, and the LA Times Magazine.

 

Eric A. Hanushek

Senior Fellow
Eric is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is also chairman of the Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education. Eric is a leading expert on educational policy, specializing in the economics and finance of schools. He is a member of both the National Academy of Education and the International Academy of Education and was awarded the Fordham Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 2004.

 

Frederick M. Hess

Scholar
Rick is resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He has authored influential books on education and pens the Education Week blog "Rick Hess Straight Up." His work has appeared widely in scholarly and popular outlets. He has edited widely-cited volumes on education philanthropy, stretching the education dollar, the impact of education research, education entrepreneurship, and No Child Left Behind. Rick serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, on the Review Board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education, and on the Boards of Directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, 4.0 SCHOOLS, and the American Board for the Certification of Teaching Excellence. A former high school social studies teacher, he has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, and Harvard University. He holds an MA and PhD in Government, as well as an MEd in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.

 

E.D. Hirsch

Author and Founder
Don was a professor of English and education for many years at the University of Virginia. He is the author of several books, including Cultural Literacy and The Schools We Need. From the mid eighties on, Don has devoted himself to the mission of educational reform, concentrating his efforts on developing a curriculum that would provide coherence and rich content in the foundational years of a child¹s education. In 1986, he established the Core Knowledge Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia to design this curriculum and support its implementation. With all levels combined, there are more than 700 schools in 48 states and three foreign countries.

 

Michael Johnston

State Senator
Michael is a Colorado State Senator, and the founder and former principal of MESA (Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts), a Gates-funded small high school in north Denver. His experience teaching English in the Mississippi Delta with Teach For America led him to write his best-selling education memoir, In The Deep Heart's Core. Michael co-founded New Leaders for New Schools, a national non-profit that recruits, prepares and places outstanding urban school leaders; he continues to serve New Leaders as their National Director of Policy. Michael previously served as the principal of two alternative high schools for students held in state custody, the Joan Farley Academy, and the Marvin Foote Youth Detention Center. He is an adjunct professor of Education Law at the University of Denver and serves as an education adviser to state and federal political campaigns around the country, including spending a year as education adviser to then-Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Michael holds degrees from Yale College, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Yale Law School.

 

Joel I. Klein

CEO & Executive VP
Joel is CEO of the Educational Division and Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman, at News Corporation. Prior to that, he was Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. He launched Children First in 2002, a comprehensive reform strategy that resulted in significant increases in student performance. Joel is a former Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, Inc., and served as Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice until September 2000. He was Deputy White House Counsel to President Clinton from 1993-1995 and entered the Clinton administration after 20 years of public and private legal work in Washington, D.C. Joel received his BA from Columbia University and earned his JD from Harvard Law School. He has received numerous honorary degrees, including the Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City from New York University for his work as Chancellor.
 

Wendy Kopp

Founder and Chairman
In 1989, Wendy founded Teach For America to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. She led its development for more than two decades and now continues as chair of the board. Today, more than 10,000 Teach For America corps members - top recent college graduates of all academic disciplines - are in the midst of two-year teaching commitments in the nation's highest-need urban and rural regions, reaching more than 750,000 students.  Since 2007, Wendy has led the development of Teach For All, a growing network of 27 independent organizations around the world, building on the successes of its founding partners Teach For America and the U.K.'s Teach First. Wendy has been recognized as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards for public service.

 

James Larson

Director of Special Projects
Jim is the Director of Special Projects at Educators 4 Excellence. He is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. At DePauw University he studied history and secondary education. Upon graduation he received his teaching license in history, psychology and sociology. After DePauw, he continued to study teaching and learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Jim taught 7th grade Humanities for three years at the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he received the school's teacher of the year award. Prior to joining the E4E team, he served as the Director of School Improvement and Turnaround at the Indiana Department of Education.

 

Amy Jo Leonard

Education Specialist
Amy Jo has worked on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation for more than 17 years and currently works at the Turtle Mountain Elementary School (TMES) where, for the past nine years, she has served as an Instructional Coach. Along with these duties, she has co-chaired a school improvement team and organized professional development in scientifically-based reading instruction for the past six years. Her teaching experience also includes classroom instruction in grades K-5 and Special Education classroom instruction. Amy Jo worked as a reading consultant for a variety of schools across North Dakota and New Mexico. In 2004, KXMC, a North Dakota televisions station, selected her for the "Golden Apple Teacher of Year" award in recognition of her unique integration of literature instruction into the kindergarten curriculum of her classroom. Dr. Leonard earned an undergraduate degree from Valley City State University, her MSE from Minot State University and her PhD in Teaching and Learning from the University of North Dakota.

 

Robert H. Pasternack

Senior Vice President
Robert is Sr. Vice President for Special Education at Cambium Learning Group, the nation's largest provider of intervention to struggling students. Prior to joining Cambium Learning Group he served as Vice President of Education Services at MAXIMUS. Prior to that, Robert served as the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) at the U.S. Department of Education. Before being asked by President Bush to serve that Administration, Robert was the State Director of Special Education in New Mexico. He has been a teacher, a superintendent, a university professor, a local administrator, state and national leader during his more than 40 years in education and special education.

 

Michael Podgursky

Professor, Dept. of Economics
Michael  is Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri - Columbia, where he served as department chair from 1995-2005. He has written many articles with a primary focus on school finance, educator labor markets, and human resource policy in schools. His recent research has been focused on the labor market effects of teacher retirement benefit systems. He serves on the board of editors of Education Finance and PolicyPeabody Journal of Education, advisory boards for various statistical agencies and research institutes, and the board of the Missouri Show-Me Institute. He is a co-investigator at the National Center for Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University, and the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at AIR, two national research centers funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, He has served as a consultant for school districts, K-12 non-profits, foundations, and governments on school finance and educator compensation.

 

Dr. Stefanie Sanford

Chief, Global Policy & Advocacy
Stefanie serves as Chief of Global Policy & Advocacy for the College Board. She oversees the domestic and international policy agenda, working with policymakers, public institutions and foreign countries to promote excellence and equity in education, particularly at the highest levels of academic achievement. Stefanie also directs government relations at the federal and state levels and the organization's strategic relationships with foundation partners.  Prior to joining the College Board, Stefanie spent over 10 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, most recently as Director of Policy and Advocacy for the United States Program.  Before joining the Foundation, she served in a number of policy leadership positions at the federal and state level, including as a White House Fellow in the Office of Cabinet Affairs.  She is author of Civic Life in the Information Age: Politics, Technology and Generation X, based on her dissertation research.  Stefanie holds a BS from Texas Christian University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a PhD from the University of Texas.