Question is, will he?
Diane Ravitch is a historian of education. She is Research Professor of Education at New York University. She has written ten books and edited another 14. She is a graduate of the Houston public schools, Wellesley College (BA), Columbia University (Ph.D. in history of American education), and holds nine honorary doctorates. In 2011, she received the Daniel Patrick Moynihan award from the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences for her careful use of data and research to advance the common good. She blogs at dianeravitch.net. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Robin Hiller is the Executive Director of Voices for Education, an organization she founded in 1998 in response to her son’s enrollment in an over-crowded kindergarten class in their neighborhood school. Her goal was to create a way to educate and empower parents to be a part of the decision-making process about education issues at the local and legislative levels. Prior to establishing Voices for Education, Robin worked for over 20 political candidates and elected officials primarily developing policies that supported children, youth and families. She is also the co-founder of “ChessPlays,” a program that provided chess instruction to at-risk middle school students.
Anthony Cody worked in the high poverty schools of Oakland, California, for 24 years, 18 of them as a middle school science teacher. He writes the widely read Living in Dialogue blog, and was one of the organizers of the Save Our Schools March in Washington, DC, in 2011. A graduate of UC Berkeley and San Jose State University, he now lives in Mendocino County, California.
Phyllis Bush is a retired English teacher and a concerned grandparent. When she saw the changes in Indiana schools taking place at warp speed, she started writing letters, making phone calls, and going to town hall meetings to ask questions. In July 2010, she travelled to Washington to attend the Save Our Schools conference. Upon returning to Fort Wayne, she formed a grassroots group called the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education in an effort to inform taxpayers and concerned citizens about the impact of the unsound education reform policies and laws being passed and the increasing privatization of public schools. She has researched and written numerous fact sheets about the impact of vouchers, charters schools, high stakes testing, and myths about education, which can be found on the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education blog and on NEIFPE Facebook page . NEIFPE played a significant role in one of the most historic upsets in Indiana government history with the election of a new superintendent of public instruction. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa (B.A. in English), and has a master’s degree from the University of Saint Francis in Education and Counseling. She taught for 32 years in the public schools in Illinois and Indiana.
Colleen Doherty Wood is an Education Advocate from Florida and mom to two public school students. In response to extreme education budget cuts in 2008, Colleen founded 50thNoMore.org, Florida’s first statewide, grassroots public education advocacy group focused on ensuring the high quality education promised to all children in the State’s constitution becomes a reality. Working with a coalition of other grassroots groups, Colleen has led successful statewide campaigns to demand the inclusion of parents and educators in setting education policy in Florida. Despite the odds and funding stacked against them, this coalition successfully influenced proposed changes to school grading, developed partnerships with education leaders, and twice stopped the harmful Parent Trigger bill. Colleen has worked in the private, public, and non-profit sectors and therefore brings a unique perspective to education advocacy. She knows shared decision making of parents, educators and administrators in neighborhood schools is the best way to support and improve our strong system of public education. Colleen received her bachelor’s degree from the Florida State University and is an accomplished public speaker and advocate who strongly believes investing in public education is investing in our nation’s future.
Dr. Sonya Douglass Horsford is Associate Professor of Education at George Mason University where she focuses on educational equity, leadership, opportunity, and reform. Her research on school desegregation and resegregation, culturally relevant leadership, and critical race theory in education has been featured innumerous journals and books, including Learning in a Burning House: Educational Inequality and (Dis)Integration (Teachers College Press, 2011). Dr. Horsford also serves as President of Las Vegas’ Promise, a local non-profit organization that sponsors the Las Vegas Freedom Schools Program – a summer literacy program designed to provide engaging learning opportunities for children, youth, and families in historically underserved communities.
Since graduating from Davidson College in 1978, Bertis Downs has lived in Athens, Georgia, where he received his law degree in 1981 from the University of Georgia’s School of Law. He represented the band R.E.M. throughout the band’s storied thirty year career and has remained an advisor to their various endeavors since disbandment in 2011. In 1988 Downs originated the Entertainment Law course at the University School of Law. Since then, he has regularly nourished his interest in teaching by speaking at various continuing legal education and music industry conferences, and he has lectured widely at universities and law schools in the United States and abroad. His civic and sociopolitical interests include advocating for our nation’s public education system. His focus is on fighting the growing corporatization of public schools to the detriment of the teaching and learning that goes on in them. His main professional interest is, like most everyone else in the creative industries these days, the changing legal and business landscape in the digital age of ubiquity. Downs married Katherine in 1986 and they have two young daughters, Adelaide and Eliza. Downs is active in various organizations and has served on boards for groups including People for the American Way, Georgia Conservation Voters, and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.
Leonie Haimson is Executive Director of Class Size Matters, a non-profit advocacy group working for smaller class sizes in NYC and the nation as a whole. She is also a co-founder of Parents Across America, a national grassroots group that supports progressive and proven education reforms. She is a graduate of Harvard University, worked at the Educational Priorities Panel, and founded Class Size Matters in 2000. She regularly speaks before parent, advocacy, and government groups, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News and on national radio shows. She writes for several blogs, including NYC Public School Parents and Huffington Post, and her articles and opinion pieces have been published in Education Week, the New York Times, the New York Daily News, InsideSchools, In These Times, the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet, Gothamschools, Gotham Gazette and elsewhere. In 2007 she received the John Dewey award from the United Federation of Teachers; in 2009 she was named as one of NYC’s family heroes by NYC Family Magazine; and in 2013 she was honored as an “Extraordinary Advocate for Our Children” by Advocates for Justice.
Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin. His primary work considers the student achievement and progress in relation to accountability policies. His work has been cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, Education Week, and other print and electronic media outlets. He has also appeared on local and national radio and TV including PBS, NBCLatino, NPR, and MSNBC. He obtained his Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy Analysis and a Masters in Sociology from Stanford University. He also holds a Masters of Higher Education and a Bachelor’s of History and Psychology from the University of Michigan. He blogs at Cloaking Inequity.
Larry Lee is retired and lives in Montgomery, AL. His last position before retiring was Director of the Center for Rural Alabama where he coordinated an extensive study of high-performing, high-poverty rural schools. The result was the publication, Lessons Learned from Rural Schools. He frequently writes about education issues for Alabama newspapers. He is co-author of Beyond the Interstate: The Crisis in Rural Alabama and Crossroads and Connections: Strategies for Rural Alabama. He is chairman of the advisory board of HIPPY Alabama, an early childhood learning program. Lee is a graduate of Auburn University.
Mark B Miller is an elected school director in Centennial School District, Co-Chair of Keystone State Education Coalition and Vice President of Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Mark serves as Chairperson of PSBA’s Legislative Platform Committee and PSBA’s Career and Technical Education Task Force. Mark constantly stands up for public education through testimony at all levels, seeking a properly funded system of free and appropriate public education. His advocacy carries over to Keystone State Education Coalition (an affiliate of Network for Public Education). KeySEC is a grassroots organization reaching more than 2,250 Pennsylvania education stakeholders every day. At the national level, Mark has spent the last five years supporting National School Boards Association as a delegate to the Federal Relations Network since 2009. He regularly visits members of Congress and staffs, sharing insight from NSBA’s Teacher/Principal Effectiveness and Early Childhood Education Committees. He ardently advocates for increased funding of IDEA, plus reauthorization of ESEA and CNA. Professionally, Mark is a marketing consultant and artist manager/agent with prominent clients, including The Jacksons, four movie studios, Kellogg Company, Wyeth-Ayerst and Nestle. He is most proud of being a single parent to his three adult children, Jaclyn (a public school teacher), Brooke and Leland.