Michael B. Allen is the principal of Allen Education LLC in Washington, DC. He is a former senior program officer at the National Research Council (NRC), where he directed a congressionally mandated study of U.S. teacher preparation programs. Prior to his work at NRC, Dr. Allen was a senior policy analyst at the Education Commission of the States, where he directed several major projects, including work on hard-to-staff schools and strengthening the connection between education policy and research. For ECS, he wrote major reports, including, Eight Questions on Teacher Preparation: What Does the Research Say? (2003) and Eight Questions on Teacher Recruitment and Retention: What Does the Research Say? (2005). In earlier work, he was involved in welfare reform policy, in ethics issues for non-profit organizations, served as the associate director of the University of Denver’s Center for Judaic Studies, and was an assistant professor of philosophy at Bowling Green State University. Besides his publications in education policy, Dr. Allen is co-author of Conducting an Ethics Audit: A Resource Manual for Nonprofit Organizations and has written articles in the fields of philosophy and nonprofit ethics. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston University and an Ed.M. in education research methods from Charles Sturt University, in Australia.
Allan Alson is the executive director of High School Transformation in the Chicago Public Schools. He was the superintendent of Evanston Township High School from 1992 until June 2006. He began his teaching career in the Philadelphia Public Schools and served as a teacher and administrator in several communities in Massachusetts. While there he was the Assistant Director of the Boston Public Schools/Boston University Desegregation Collaborative. During his time in Evanston, he was involved in creating a wide array of community partnerships, including an award-winning School Based Health Center. An Interagency Collaborative to structure services to children and families in need and a School and Community Task Force on Safety and Civility were created through Dr. Alson’s leadership. In July 2006, Dr. Alson was named a Senior Fellow by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In that capacity he has assumed responsibility for High School Transformation in the Chicago Public Schools. Alson is responsible for ensuring that the strategic initiatives for High School Transformation are implemented across the city. High School Transformation’s instructional strategy began in the fall of 2006 with implementation in the ninth grade of 14 city high schools.
Candace Bell is a program officer in Children, Youth, and Families at the William Penn Foundation, where she oversees grant awards and other activities related to education. Prior to joining the Foundation, Candace worked as a researcher on a variety of projects at the University of Pennsylvania. She also was program coordinator for a National Science Foundation initiative linking the University of Pennsylvania with public schools in West Philadelphia. Candace holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in elementary education from Nazareth College.
Victoria Chou has served as the dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) since 1996. Prior to her deanship, Dr. Chou was a reading researcher, a teacher educator, a reading specialist, and a classroom teacher. With her colleagues at UIC, she seeks to develop a model “great cities” school of education that is relevant and responsive to the third largest school district in the country. Dr. Chou has secured numerous grants to support the preparation and professional development of excellent teachers for high-poverty, predominantly minority schools. She chairs UIC’s Council on Teacher Education and serves on the governing board of the National Teachers Academy Professional Development School. From 1997 to 2005, she co-chaired the Steering Committee of the Consortium on Chicago School Research.
Paul Goren is the vice president of the Spencer Foundation, located in Chicago, a position he has held since June, 2001. He also served as the acting president of the foundation from July 2002–June 2003. Previously, Dr. Goren was the Director of Child and Youth Development at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. A former middle school teacher, Goren worked as Executive Director (Assistant Superintendent) for Policy and Strategic Services in the Minneapolis Public Schools from 1995–98 and as a policy analyst and educational researcher in the San Diego City Schools in the mid-1980s. He also worked in and subsequently directed the education policy studies division of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) in Washington, DC, between 1991 and 1995. Goren received a Ph.D. in education administration and policy analysis from Stanford University.
Janice Ellen Jackson is a Lecturer on Education and Senior Associate for the Executive Education Leadership Program at Harvard University. She was most recently an assistant professor in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College (BC), jointly appointed to the departments of Teacher Education, Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction, and of Educational Leadership and Higher Education. She was also a faculty member in the Leadership for Change Program in the Carroll School of Management. Prior to her appointments at BC, she was the deputy superintendent for the Boston Public Schools and also served as deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education for the U. S. Department of Education. Dr. Jackson held several positions with the Milwaukee, WI, Public Schools, the last as coordinator of school-based management. She has been the recipient of numerous civic and professional awards and has served on a variety of boards and committees on the local and national levels. Dr. Jackson holds an Ed.M. in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University.
Carol Johnson is the superintendent of Memphis (TN) City Schools. Prior to assuming the superintendency in Memphis in 2003, Dr. Johnson taught in the Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, MN, public school systems. In Minneapolis, she rose to the position of superintendent in 1997. In leading the Memphis school district’s 191 schools, she has succeeded in reducing the number schools on Tennessee’s No Child Left Behind high priority list by 56% percent—83 schools identified for improvement or restructuring. Other significant accomplishments include a successful bid for the highly-praised New Leaders for New Schools, a landmark program that develops select candidates to become high-performing principals equipped to lead urban schools to success and a bid for a $1.6 million grant pilot program to participate in The New Teacher Project, which will allow Memphis City Schools to better attract and retain the most qualified teachers. Dr. Johnson has also renewed emphasis on literacy with MCS Reads initiative, which asks everyone in the community to read a minimum of 25 books a school year. She received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
Susan Moore Johnson is the Pforzheimer Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as academic dean from 1993 to 1999. Dr. Johnson’s research and teaching address teacher policy, organizational change, and administrative practice. A former high school teacher and administrator, Dr. Johnson also has a continuing research interest in the work of teachers and the reform of schools. She has studied the leadership of superintendents; the effects of collective bargaining on schools, the use of incentive pay plans for teachers, and the school as a context for teachers’ work. Currently, she and a group of advanced doctoral students are engaged in a multiyear research study, The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, which examines how best to recruit, support, and retain a strong teaching forces in the next decade. Her books include Teacher Unions and Schools (1984), Teachers at Work (1990), Leading to Change the Challenge of the New Superintendency (1996), and Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (2004).
Frank B. Murray is the current president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. He is a former dean of the College of Education and is currently H. Rodney Sharp Professor in the School of Education and the Department of Psychology at the University of Delaware. He earned his BA degree from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland in 1960 and his masters and doctoral degrees from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is a fellow in the American Psychological Association in the division of Developmental Psychology and the division of Educational Psychology, and was president of the Jean Piaget Society. He has been an active researcher, publishing over 100 articles and chapters in psychology and education, and has served on the editorial boards of the principal journals in his field. Murray was appointed president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council in July of 1998.
Charles Payne is a Professor of African-American Studies and Sociology, and Director of African and African-American Studies at Duke University. He is the recipient of the Senior Scholar Award, a four-year grant awarded by the Spencer Foundation to develop two books and related writings on urban education. He is the principal investigator in a project entitled “Leadership and Change in Chicago Schools.” This is an ethnographic study of the most improved low-income schools in Chicago and is supported by the Joyce Foundation. Payne is also completing work as the co-principal investigator for a MacArthur Foundation supported study entitled, “School-Based Management in Chicago,” a study of the implementation of James Comer’s school development process in the Chicago public school system. Payne is also working on several publications including: Singing Songs to Dead Hogs: African-American Social Discourse At Century’s End, a collection of essays on racial identity and social consciousness; So Much Reform, So Little Change: Research, Policy and Practice in Urban Education, a critical overview of what has been learned from the last 15 years of experimentation in urban schools; and Fragile Victories: The Dynamics of Successful Schooling in Urban America, a summary of multi-year ethnographic investigations of both failing and successful schools in Chicago.
Michelle Rhee currently serves as the Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools. Before her current post, she served as chief executive officer and president of The New Teacher Project (TNTP), a nonprofit organization that partners with school districts, state departments of education, and other educational entities to enhance their capacity to recruit, select, train, and support outstanding new teachers for difficult-to-staff schools. Since its inception in 1997, The New Teacher Project has launched 40 programs in 22 states and attracted and prepared over 20,000 new, high-quality teachers for school districts in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Baltimore, among others. Ms. Rhee began her teaching career at Harlem Park Community School, Baltimore, MD, as a part of the Teach for America program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University and a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Sharon Robinson is president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and formerly the president of the Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) Educational Policy Leadership Institute. Before joining ETS, Dr. Robinson was an assistant secretary of education with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement. She also held a variety of leadership positions at the National Education Association (NEA), including director of the National Center for Innovation, NEA’s research and development arm, and she recently served as interim deputy director of the National Parent–Teacher Association’s Programs and Legislation office. In addition, she serves on several boards of directors and on the Supplemental Education Task Force of Columbia University and has chaired the Diversity Issues in Measurement Committee of the National Council for Measurement in Education. Dr. Robinson’s contributions to civil rights and educational advocacy have been acknowledged in prestigious national awards. She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Supervision from the University of Kentucky.
Jon Schnur is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the New Leaders for New Schools. He works with the New Leaders for New Schools team and community to accomplish the organization’s mission: driving high levels of learning and achievement for every child by attracting, preparing, and supporting the next generation of outstanding principals for our nation’s urban schools. Since co-founding New Leaders for New Schools, he has led the development of the organization’s strategy, management team and board, core values, partnerships, and fundraising. He has served as Special Assistant to Secretary of Education Richard Riley, President Clinton’s White House Associate Director for Educational Policy, and Senior Advisor on Education to Vice President Gore. He has developed national educational policies on teacher and principal quality, after-school programs, district reform, charter schools, and preschools. He graduated from Princeton University.
Gregory Thornton is the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent of the Chester-Upland School District. Prior to this post, he had been the chief academic officer of the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) since June 2004. Before joining SDP, Dr. Thornton served as deputy superintendent of schools and community superintendent for the Montgomery County, Maryland, Public Schools and assistant superintendent in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and coordinating director of secondary schools for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. As a 28-year public school educator, teacher, and administrator, Dr. Thornton has had a wide range of experience, including principalships at the elementary and secondary school levels. In addition, Dr. Thornton has served as chair, board member, and member on numerous educational, civic, and community organizations and has received numerous awards for service. He received a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Suzanne Wilson is a professor of teacher education and director of the Center for the Scholarship of Teaching at Michigan State University. Considered according to their relationship to teaching, three interrelated topics form the nucleus of Dr. Wilson’s work: teacher knowledge, curricular policy, and teacher learning. While at Michigan State, she has collaborated on several large-scale research projects, including the National Center for Research on Teacher Education, the Educational Policy and Practice Study, and the National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. Her most recent publications include reviews of the research literature on the teaching of history, on teacher learning, and on teacher education. Her book, California Dreaming (2003), documents the efforts to reform mathematics education in California since the 1960s. Her Ph.D. is in educational psychology from Stanford University.