Task Force Member Bios

Task Force Members –

Joseph A. Aguerrebere, Jr., President, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, since 2003. Prior to joining the National Board, Dr. Aguerrebere was Deputy Director of the Education, Sexuality and Religion (ESR) Unit at the Ford Foundation in New York.  He served as a professor of educational administration at California State University.  His education career includes serving as a teacher and an administrator in California.

Michael Casserly, Executive Director, Council of the Great City Schools, since January 1992.  For the 15 years prior, he served the organization as its director of Legislation and Research.  He initiated major reforms in Title I, Vocational Education, and Drug Free Schools, and wrote the federal Magnet School Act and the Urban Schools of America Act.  He is a U.S. Army veteran, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and B.A. from Villanova University.  He has written numerous studies, reports and op-ed pieces on urban schools, has produced television shows with Dan Rather, Charlene Hunter-Gault, Carole Simpson, Carl Rowan, and Juan Williams, and has served on numerous national boards and advisory groups.

Yvonne Chan, Principal, Vaughn Next Century Learning Center (Los Angeles) and Member, California State Board of Education, since 2005.  She is also an adjunct professor at UCLA.  Her charter school was named a 1995 California Distinguished School and a 1996 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.  She serves on the Los Angeles City Commission for Children Youth and Families, the Board of Public/Private Venture in Philadelphia, the California State University Advisory Board, and the Consortium for Policy Research in Education.

Antonia Cortese, Secretary/Treasurer, American Federation of Teachers, since 2008.  She oversees the development of the organization’s education policies and chairs the AFT Task Force on NCLB.  She has served as executive vice president and vice president of the AFT, and an officer of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).  She began her education career as a fourth-grade teacher and school social worker. She serves on the boards of the Learning First Alliance, Child Labor Coalition, Freedom House, the United Way of America, the U.S. Department of Education to the National Assessment Governing Board, and the American Bar Association’s Commission on Civic Education and Separation of Powers.

Jack D. Dale, Superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools (VA), since 2004.  Previously, he served as Superintendent for Frederick County Public Schools. During his fourth year as Superintendent, he was named Maryland’s Superintendent of the Year. His education career included teaching mathematics and various administrative positions in Washington State.  He is a member of the American Association of School Administrators; the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; the National School Board Association; and serves on other local professional associations and boards.

Timothy Daly, President, The New Teacher Project, since 2007. Prior to his appointment as President, he served as Vice President for Policy and Research, and managing partner for multiple contracts including the NYC Teaching Fellows program (NYCTF), the largest of The New Teacher Project’s alternate route to certification programs. He began his career in education as a Teach For America corps member at Northeast Middle School in Baltimore.

Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators, since July 2008. He was president of AASA from July 1998 to June 1999. He served as superintendent of Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools prior to joining McGraw-Hill as senior vice president and head of the Urban Advisory resource in 2005.  He has been an administrator and superintendent in several New York state school districts. Additionally, Domenech has served on the U.S. Department of Education National Assessment Governing Board and on the board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of International Education.

Denis Doyle, Co-Founder, Vice Chairman and Chief Academic Officer, Schoolnet, and Author, The Doyle Report.  A recognized authority on education policy both in the United States and internationally, he has written extensively about education for scholarly and popular audiences.  He was a Senior Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, served as Director of Education Policy Studies and Human Capital Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for five years, was a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and has held several posts in government service, including Assistant Director of the National Institute of Education and Assistant Director of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity.

Susan Fuhrman, President, Teachers College, Columbia University, and Chair, Consortium for Policy Research in Education. She previously served as Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, where she was  George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education. She has written widely on education policy and finance. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the National Coalition on Asia and International Studies in the Schools, and is a former Vice President of the American Educational Research Association.

Beverly Hall, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools, since 1999.  Previously, she was state district superintendent of the Newark Public Schools (NJ), served as deputy chancellor for instruction of the New York City Public Schools, and has served as a principal.  She has been honored with the Council of the Great City Schools National Urban School Superintendent of the Year Award.  She serves on the boards of the Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, Harvard University’s Urban Superintendents Program Advisory Board, the U.S. Department of Education Urban Education Research Task Force, Communities in Schools of Atlanta, and Junior Achievement of Atlanta.

James B. Hunt, Jr., Former four-term Governor, North Carolina. Partner, Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge and Rice, PLLC, Raleigh, NC.  He chairs the board of the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, established in 2001 to work with current and emerging political, business and education leaders to improve public education. In 1985 he co-chaired the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy, leading to the formation of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which he chaired for ten years. He also serves as the chairman of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Carol R. Johnson, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools, since 2007.  She serves as a cabinet member for Mayor Thomas Menino.  She previously served as Superintendent of the Memphis City Schools in Memphis, Tennessee, and had been Superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools, where she was named Minnesota Superintendent of the Year.  She serves as secretary-treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Council of the Great City Schools, on the Spencer Foundation Board, the Harvard University Urban Superintendents’ Advisory Board, and the College Board.

Thomas J. Kane, Professor of Education and Economics, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University.  From 1995 to 1996, he served as the senior economist for labor, education, and welfare policy issues within President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. Previously, he was a faculty member at the Kennedy School of Government. He has also been a professor of public policy at UCLA and has held visiting fellowships at the Brookings Institution and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Joel I. Klein, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education, since 2002. Before becoming Chancellor, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Bertelsmann, Inc.  Previously, he was assistant attorney general in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division, after serving two years as deputy counsel to President  Clinton. He entered the Clinton administration after 20 years of public and private legal work in Washington, D.C.  He has participated in Big Brothers, and served on the boards of National Symphony Orchestra Association, as chairman of the Green Door, and as treasurer of the World Federation for Mental Health.

Janet M. Knupp, Founding President, Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund), since 2000. She is a venture philanthropist with nearly 20 years of experience in start-up and turnaround nonprofit management. Under her leadership, The Fund pioneered the venture philanthropy model in education and was one of the first to identify and pursue human capital as the greatest lever to accelerate student achievement. Since 2000, She has raised more than $48 million and leveraged more than $125 million in public and private dollars. The Fund’s balanced portfolio of programs has developed more than 2,300 school leaders that benefit nearly 90 percent of Chicago public schools. In her previous work, she led several education organizations in start-up or turnaround situations, significantly growing revenues and positioning them for greater impact.

Matthew Kramer, President and Chief Program Officer, Teach For America. Prior to joining Teach For America, he worked at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, where he was a partner and leader in the North American Financial Institutions practice. In addition to his work with insurers and asset managers, he has also served nonprofit institutions focused on K-12 education.

Edward E. Lawler, III, Director, Center for Effective Organizations, and Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California.  As the author of over 350 articles and 38 books, he has been recognized by Fortune and other publications as one of the country’s leading management research experts. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Academy of Management, the Association for Quality and Participation, the British Academy of Management, National Academy of Human Resources, and the World Academy of Productivity Science.

Francine Lawrence, President, Toledo Federation of Teachers.  Under her leadership, the Toledo Federation of Teachers has developed several innovative union-management initiatives including the district’s nationally recognized Peer Assessment and Review program, and its Teacher Review and Alternative Compensation System.  She began her career as and still is a speech-language pathologist.   She chairs the American Federation of Teachers’ K-12 Program and Policy Council; serves as Vice-President of the Toledo Area AFL-CIO Council; and is a member of the Northwest Ohio Center for Labor-Management Cooperation Advisory Board, Toledo Labor Management Citizens Committee, and Partners in Education Advisory Board.

Kimberly Oliver Burnim, Kindergarten Teacher, Broad Acres Elementary School, Montgomery County Public Schools, National Board Certified Teacher, 2006 National Teacher of the Year.  She joined the staff at Broad Acres in 2000, which in a few short years produced large gains in student performance. While working on her master’s degree, she gained experience at the Elementary Workshop Montessori School in Wilmington, DE, as an assistant teacher for a multiage class of 9–12 year olds. In 2004, Oliver earned her early childhood generalist certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Josh Reibel, President and Chief Operating Officer, Wireless Generation. Previously, he was vice president of eSCORE.com, a provider of online, interactive educational services; managed Columbia University’s Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT), a research and development wing of Teachers College and Columbia University; was director of local evaluation for the National Science Foundation’s Gateway Engineering Education Coalition, a national consortium of universities and colleges; was the Ben D. Wood Fellow in Communications and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University; and was a high school philosophy and English teacher at The Dalton School in New York City.

Sharon P. Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, since 2005. Previously, she was president of the Educational Testing Service’s Educational Policy Leadership Institute, also served as ETS’ senior vice president and chief operating officer, and as vice president for teaching and learning and for state and federal relations; was assistant secretary of education with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement; and held a variety of leadership positions at the National Education Association, including director of the National Center for Innovation. She serves on the boards of Alfred Harcourt Foundation and Jobs for America’s Graduates, and on the Columbia University’s Supplemental Education Task Force. She is past chair of the Diversity Issues in Measurement Committee of the National Council for Measurement in Education.

Eric Smith, Commissioner of Education, Florida. He previously served as Senior Vice President for College Readiness at the College Board, and was superintendent of the Ann Arundel County (MD) Public Schools and of the Charlotte Mecklenburg (NC) School District.  He began his education career as a public school teacher.  He has served as past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for The College Board, as a board member for the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, and as Chair of the National Assessment of Title 1 Independent Review Panel since 2003.

LaVerne E. Srinivasan, President, New Leaders for New Schools, since 2006. Previously, she served under Joel Klein as the Deputy Chancellor for Operations for the New York City Public Schools, and directed the Office of Student Enrollment and Planning Operations and the Division of Human Resources at the Department of Education. Earlier in her career, she was Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs and General Counsel for BMG Entertainment.

Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals, since 1999. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, and was Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education for eight years.  He was also a tenured professor at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Educational Leadership, the President of Wheelock College in Boston, Superintendent in the New Haven (CT) Public Schools, principal, assistant principal, director of secondary education, director of middle schools, director of community schools, guidance counselor, and teacher. He serves on numerous advisory boards including Pearson Education National Policy Board, the Educational Research Service, the League, the Learning First Alliance, the USA Today Advisory Board, and the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Schools Advisory Council.

Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association, since 2008. He started his education career as a high school math teacher from Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, Ariz., and has served in numerous key National Education Association offices, including NEA Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer, Arizona Education Association President, and Paradise Valley Education Association President. He chairs the NEA Advisory Committee on Membership and serves on the NEA Strategic Planning and Budget Committee as well as the Board of Directors of NEA Member Benefits.

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers, since July 2008. She also heads the city Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella organization for 100 -plus city unions. From 1986 to 1998, Weingarten served as counsel to UFT President Sandra Feldman, taking a lead role in the union’s fight for adequate school funding and building conditions. She assumed the United Federation of Teachers presidency in 1998, and was elected to her first full term in 1999 and re-elected three times since.

Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers, since 2006. He has led two state education agencies, as director of the Arkansas Department of Education and as deputy commissioner and commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education. He began his career as a social studies teacher in Ohio and Indiana. He served as a program director in the Indiana Department of Education, an administrator in Kanawha County West Virginia, and a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Education before assuming the position of executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), which he held from1986–1993.

For a PDF document of the SMHC Task Force, please click here.

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