Public Schools for Tomorrow
Who we are
Advisory Board


Robert Bartman

Tom Sobol

Bob Bartman is the Superintendent of Schools in Kansas City Center # 58 School District, K. C. MO. He has held this position for one year. The district educates about 2400 students with the help of 250 professional and 10 administrative staff.

Dr. Bartman believes that the three main problems facing the superintendency today are: raising achievement levels for all students, closing the academic performance gap between groups of students, and maintaining public support for public schools. He's looking forward to learn from those who have had success in closing the achievement gap. Dr. Bartman received his doctorate from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.

Ann Cook

Tom Sobol

Ann Cook is the co-chair of the New York Performance Assessment Consortium, a coalition of 32 New York State Schools that uses a performance-based system of assessment instead of high stakes testing.

She is co-founder and co-director of Urban Academy High School, the anchor school in the Julia Richman Education Complex, one of the most successful school redesigns in the country.

Douglas Christensen

Douglas Christiansen

Douglas Christensen served as a leader in the Nebraska Department of Education since 1990: as Associate Commissioner from 1990-1992, Deputy Commissioner from 1992-1994, and Commissioner of Education from 1994-until he resigned in July, 2008. He was the Superintendent of North Platte Public Schools in Nebraska from 1985-1990. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
   Under his leadership, Nebraska developed the unique STARS (Student-based Teacher-led Assessment and Reporting System) assessment system which focused on local curriculum and assessment, while also assessing writing statewide in different grades. In January 2004, the work of Nebraskan educators was cited by the U.S. Department of Education’s publication, The Road to 21st Century Learning:

“Nebraska has persuaded federal education officials to approve the nation’s most innovative assessment system, which allows school districts to use portfolios to measure student progress. This approach to assessment exemplifies the use of new assessment tools to measure 21st century knowledge and skills.

Linda Darling-Hammond

Tom Sobol

Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she teaches education policy courses and oversees the teacher education programs. She is executive director of the National Commission for Teaching and America’s Future, the blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report “What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future” catalyzed major policy changes across the U.S. to improve the quality of teacher education and teaching.

Her research, teaching, and policy work focuses on issues of teaching and teacher education, school restructuring, and educational equity. As Chair of New York State’s Council on Curriculum and Assessment, she helped to fashion a comprehensive school reform plan for the state that supports curriculum and assessment for more challenging learning goals linked professional development for teachers and greater equity for students. As Chair of the Model Standards Committee of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, she has helped to develop licensing standards for beginner teachers that reflect current knowledge about what teachers need to know to teach diverse learners to these higher standards.

Prior to her appointment at Stanford, Dr. Darling-Hammond was a William F. Russell Professor in the Foundations of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University where she was also Co-Director of the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST). She has served on many national advisory boards as well as the boards of directors for a number of foundations. Among her more than 200 publications is The Right to Learn, recipient of the AERA Outstanding Book Award in 1998.

Vince Ferrandino

Tom Sobol

Vincent L. Ferrandino received the 2007 National Association of Elementary School Principals Distinguished Service to Children and the Education Profession for his work as the NAESP Executive Director. Formerly the Executive Director and CEO of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Dr. Ferrandino served as the Commissioner of Education in Connecticut, and superintendent of Regional School District #6 where he also had been a principal. He served as teacher and assistant principal in West Nyack and Mamaroneck, NY, and as chairman of the Board of Governors for the U.S. Department of Education’s Regional Laboratory at Brown University. He currently serves as president of the Association for the Advancement of International Education. Dr. Ferrandino received a BA from Amherst College, and an MS and Ed.D. from the University of Bridgeport.

Patricia Albjerg Graham

Tom Sobol

Patricia Albjerg Graham is a leading historian of American education. She began her teaching career in Deep Creek, Virginia, and later taught in Norfolk, Virginia, and New York City. She has also served as a high-school guidance counselor. From 1965 to 1974, while director of Barnard College's Education Program, she worked closely with teachers and administrators in New York City to assist beginning teachers in their schools. She has been a lecturer and assistant professor at Indiana University, a visiting professor at Northern Michigan University, and a professor of history and education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

In 1972-73 she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. She has served as dean of the Radcliffe Institute and as vice president of Radcliffe College. She joined the HGSE faculty in 1974 and served as dean from 1982 to 1991. She was also appointed by the President of the United States as the director of the National Institute of Education, then the federal government's educational research agency, where she served from 1977 to 1979. She served as president of the Spencer Foundation in Chicago from 1991 to 2000.

Graham holds a bachelor's degree with highest distinction from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and she has received several honorary degrees. She is married to Loren R. Graham, and they have a daughter, Marguerite.

Paul Houston

Tom Sobol

Paul D. Houston served as executive director of the American Association of School Administrators from 1994 to 2008. Prior to joining AASA, Houston was superintendent of schools in three uniquely different public education systems: Princeton, N.J.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Riverside, Calif. His K-12 education experience also includes serving as an assistant superintendent in Birmingham, Ala., and as a teacher and building administrator in North Carolina and New Jersey. Houston completed his bachelor’s degree at The Ohio State University and received his master’s degree at the University of North Carolina. In 1973, he earned a Doctorate of Education from Harvard University.

In 1991, Houston was honored by the Council of Great City Schools for his leadership in urban education when he received the Richard R. Green Leadership Award. In 1997, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Education from Duquesne University. The Hope Foundation honored Houston with the Courageous Leadership Award of 2000. The Horace Mann League presented Houston with the league's 2001 Outstanding Educator Award. He was cited as an articulate spokesperson for strong and effective public education.

Peter McWalters

Tom Sobol

Peter McWalters served as the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education from 1992 to 2008. His priorities have been to establish an education system that is responsible for student results from the classroom to the State House. He has supported the development of high student performance standards, assessments that measure what students know and can do, school improvement procedures that inform school and district decision-makers and curriculum, and professional development that improves classroom practices. He has advocated for increased access to quality early childhood education, interagency collaboration in support of families of children in school, and the development of an education finance system that recognizes state responsibilities to meet individual student needs while being fair to taxpayers. Peter McWalters is also co-chair of the National Task Force on the Arts in Education, and is a past president of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Prior to becoming Rhode Island's commissioner, McWalters served over twenty years in a variety of educational leadership and teaching positions, including superintendent of schools in the City School District of Rochester, NY. McWalters received both an M.P.A. and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) in School Administration from the State University of New York at Brockport, and a B.A. in history and philosophy from Boston College. He served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines.

Olivia Ifill-Lynch

Tom Sobol

Olivia Lynch has been an educator for almost 30 years. Most of her experience has been with the New York City public school system. She has also taught at colleges, private schools, adult education programs, and served as an administrator and teacher at The Colegio Panamericano, an American Overseas School in Colombia, South America. She was the founder and director of The Partnership School, a public elementary school in New York City, whose mission was to engage educators, parents, and community in the academic and social success of its students. Ms. Ifill-Lynch was the principal and founder of The School for Academic and Athletic Excellence (SAAE), a middle school also in New York City. SAAE focused on teaching the whole child through academic rigor, athletic participation, and arts instruction.

In 2001 Ms. Lynch became the founding Director of Bronx New Century High Schools, an initiative to develop new small high schools for the Bronx. This program was a collaboration among NYC Department of Education, New Visions for Public Schools and The Carnegie, Gates and Open Society Foundations. To date over fifty new small high schools have been developed by this program. Recently, Ms. Ifill-Lynch served as Local Superintendent in Region 2 in New York City. She supervised a network of twelve schools that included elementary, middle and high schools.

Presently, she is Director of Professional Learning Systems for the School Redesign Network at Stanford University School of Education, where she works closely with, districts and schools on matters of school redesign, curriculum and instruction, leadership and community engagement.

Ms. Lynch received her B. A. from New York University in 1979, an M. A. from Adelphi University in 1983, a professional diploma from The City University of New York in 1989, and is presently completing a doctorate in education (Ed. D.) at Mills College.

Olivia Ifill-Lynch is a resident of Palo Alto California, and a mother of three. She has served on the boards of The Center for Collaborative Education and The Cross-City Campaign for Urban School Reform. She also served on the Consultative Council of New York Networks for School Renewal and the National Annenberg Challenge Cross-Site Research Team. She is a board member of What Kids Can Do. She has served as adjunct professor of English-as-a-Second Language at Mercy College and most recently, adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Bank Street College of Education. As an independent consultant, Ms. Ifill-Lynch often develops programs, writes curriculum, hosts workshops, and speaks on educational issues throughout the United States.

Caroll F. Johnson

Tom Sobol

Carroll F. Johnson is a native Georgian, born in Atlanta, and grew up in the small rural community of Wildwood, GA 10 miles South of Chattanooga, TN. He attended and received his bachelors degree from the University of Chattanooga, a masters degree from the University of GA, a masters degree and a doctorate from Columbia University, Teachers College. After attending Columbia University, Teachers College, Dr. Johnson became Superintendent of Schools in Newtown, CT. From Newtown he moved to superintendencies in Amherst and later Fitchburg, MA. He was Superintendent of Schools for 15 years in White Plains, NY, prior to accepting a position at Columbia University, Teachers College, where he served 9 years. Dr. Johnson has conducted over 150 searches for school superintendents in 25 states. For about 12 years, he served as Senior Consultant to the National School Boards Association and conducted all of their Executive Searches for school superintendents. Dr. Johnson has had numerous articles published concerning superintendent searches and board/superintendent relations. He has been a frequent speaker at annual conferences of the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators and at school board and superintendent state and regional meetings.
Dr. Johnson’s leadership roles have included: President of the N.Y. State School Supts; President of the NY State Council on Economic Education; President of the White Plains Rotary Club; President of the White Plains YMCA; President of the Westchester County, NY Urban League; President of the Westchester County School Superintendents; and Co-Chair of the N.E.A./Magazine Publishers Association Committee. He chaired the American Association of School Administrators National Special Commission which produced the publication “School Racial Policy “ in 1966.
Dr. Johnson has received many honors and awards: the NY State Superintendents Distinguished Service Award; the American Association of School Administrators Distinguished Service Award; the Columbia University Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Award; the NY State Association for Women in Administration Pathfinder Award; the White Plains Brotherhood Award; the Community Service Award of the Urban League of Westchester County, NY; and the Citation of Merit presented by the Westchester County Division of the American Jewish Congress. In 2001, Dr. Johnson’s colleagues established The Carroll F. Johnson Scholarship in Administration at Teachers College in recognition of his services to American Education. In 2008 Dr. Johnson received the Horace Mann League’s Outstanding Educators Award. She currently is Professor Emeritus, Teachers College, Columbia University

William Librera

Tom Sobol

William L. Librera, New Jersey’s former commissioner of education and a respected education theorist and practitioner, joined the Rutgers faculty in Sept. 2005 as Presidential Research Professor of Education and director of a new institute to lead the university’s education research and service throughout the state. Dr. Librera served as NJ Commissioner of Education from 2002 to 2005. He served as the Superintendent of Schools in Montclair, Bernardsville and in Allamuchy Township. In Montclair, Dr. Librera developed policy guidelines for racial and gender composition in classrooms, and created a community based Early Childhood Program. Dr. Librera earned his Ed.D. and Ed.M. from Rutgers University.

Al Mijares

Tom Sobol

Al Mijares who is currently serving as the Western Region Vice President of the College Board, San Jose, California, previously led the Santa Ana (CA) School District. The Santa Ana Unified School District is an urban school district of 53,000 students and 4,000 professional staff members located in Santa Ana, California. He held this position for 8 years. He earned his doctorate at the University of Southern California.


Jerome T. Murphy

Tom Sobol

Jerome T. Murphy, the Harold Howe II Professor of Education, served as the Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1992 to 2001. During his eight years as Dean, Murphy presided over a period of strategic expansion at the School, including the development of seven new master's programs addressing topics such as the arts, brain sciences, and school leadership. Before assuming the deanship, he was instrumental in the creation of the School of Education's Urban Superintendents Program and in the expansion of its Programs in Professional Education. He joined the Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty in 1974.

A specialist in the politics of education, Murphy conducted some of the earliest studies of the implementation of the Great Society education programs and made substantial contributions to data-collection techniques in educational evaluation. His teaching and research focus on administrative practice and organizational leadership, government policy, program implementation and evaluation, and qualitative methodology.

Murphy holds a bachelor's degree from Columbia College and a master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After a brief career teaching math in the Manhasset Public Schools, he moved to Washington, D.C. and served in the Johnson Administration, first in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare developing legislation, and then as associate director of the White House Fellows program. He also served as associate staff director of the National Advisory Council on the Education of Disadvantaged Children.

Pedro Noguera

Tom Sobol

A professor in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University, Pedro Noguera is an urban sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. Pedro Noguera has served as an advisor and engaged in collaborative research with several large urban school districts throughout the United States. He has also done research on issues related to education and economic and social development in the Caribbean, Latin America and several other countries throughout the world.

From 2000-2003 Pedro Noguera served as the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 1990-2000 he was a professor in Social and Cultural Studies at the Graduate School of Education and the director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of California, Berkeley.

Pedro Noguera has published over one hundred research articles, monographs and research reports on topics such as urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, youth violence, the potential impact of school choice and vouchers on urban public schools, and race and ethnic relations in American society.

Pedro Noguera is the author of The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada, and his most recent book, City Schools and the American Dream was published by Teachers College Press in the fall of 2003.

Pedro Noguera has served as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Centers for Disease Control Taskforce on Youth Violence, the chair of the Committee on Ethics in Research and Human Rights for the American Educational Research Association, and on numerous advisory boards to local and national education and youth organizations. Dr. Noguera was a K-12 classroom teacher for several years and continues to teach part-time in high schools.

From 1986-1988 Dr. Noguera served as the executive assistant to the mayor of Berkeley, and from 1990-1994 he was an elected member and the president of the Berkeley School Board. In 1995 he received an award from the Wellness Foundation for his research on youth violence; in 1997 he was the recipient of the University of California's Distinguished Teaching Award; and in 2001 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of San Francisco and the Centennial Medal from Philadelphia University for his work in the field of education.

Richard Rothstein

Tom Sobol

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute. From 1999 to 2002 he was the national education columnist of the New York Times. He is the co-author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008) and author of Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (Teachers College Press 2004). He is also the author of The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement (1998). Other recent books include The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (co-authored in 2005) and All Else Equal. Are Public and Private Schools Different (co-authored in 2003).

Dr. Gerald N. Tirozzi

Tom Sobol

Dr. Gerald N. Tirozzi is the Executive Director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The NAASP represents principals and assistant principals in public, private, and parochial secondary schools, central office administrators, professors of secondary education, teachers and department heads, and retired educators.

Prior to joining NASSP in March 1999, Dr. Tirozzi held a variety of positions in the field of education. These included: Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education (1996-1999); Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut (1993-1995); President of Wheelock College (1991-1993); Commissioner of Education in Connecticut (1983-1991); Superintendent of New Haven (CT) Public Schools (1997-1983). Early in his career, Tirozzi also served as science teacher, assistant principal, and principals. Tirozzi has served on a number of boards and professional organizations, including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Education Commission of States, Jobs for the Future, and the Educational Testing Service.

Gerry House

Tom Sobol

Dr. N. Gerry House has been President and CEO of the Institute for Student Achievement since April, 2000. Prior to joining ISA, she spent 15 years as a superintendent for schools in Memphis, Tennessee, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She also has served as a teacher, junior and senior high school guidance counselor, principal and assistant superintendent.

Dr. House is an active leader in the education community, serving on many national boards, including the Board of Directors of the Educational Testing Service (former chair, 2002-2005); Advisory Committee of the Harvard Change Leadership Group; AutoZone Board of Directors; Woodrow Wilson Foundation Board of Directors; member of Visiting Committee for the Harvard Graduate School of Education; National Advisory Board for National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE); and The New Teacher Project Board of Directors, among others. Additionally, Dr. House was recently named to the Board of Trustees of Adelphi University.

Dr. House has received numerous professional accolades throughout her career. She was named National Superintendent of the Year in 1999 by the American Association of School Administrators for her extensive school reform efforts in the Memphis school system. Her additional awards and recognitions include: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Education, Alumni Leadership Award (2000); The Harold J. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education Award (1999); Tennessee Superintendent of the Year (1998); and The Council of the Great City Schools' Richard R. Green Award (1998). Dr. House was also named twice to the Executive Educator Magazine's listing of Top 100 Executive Educators in Education.

Dr. House earned her doctorate in Education Administration at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and she holds a master’s degree in Counseling from Southern Illinois University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English Education from North Carolina A. & T. State University and is the recipient of Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degrees from Rhodes College and Lemoyne Owen College, both in Memphis, Tennessee.