We’ve worked hard to surface promising examples of bold and innovative uses of federal relief dollars by districts and states. But ours isn’t the only opinion that matters or could be insightful – so we’ve invited a panel of national and state-based K-12 policy experts to dig in, share their thoughts, and additionally flag how they believe these practices might benefit students and schools.
Leveraging Diverse Voices & Expertise
With combined decades of expertise in serving and representing students, families, and educators across a wide range of educational issue areas, our reviewers were selected for their breadth of knowledge, their longstanding pursuit of equity in education, and their unwavering dedication to America’s students. Reviewers were not given a rubric to evaluate practices, but have applied their professional or organizational perspectives, priorities, and values.
TNTP Dr. Tequilla Brownie, Chief Executive Officer
TNTP’s mission is to end the injustice of educational inequality by providing excellent teachers to the students who need them most and by advancing policies and practices that ensure effective teaching in every classroom.
Tequilla Brownie is CEO of TNTP, a national advocacy and consulting firm focused on disrupting inequities in public education so all students have opportunities and can achieve success. Prior to taking the helm, Dr. Brownie led strategy and policy at TNTP and had spearheaded nearly a decade of work improving teacher effectiveness in Memphis City Schools.
Learning Heroes Dr. Eyal Bergman, Senior Vice President
Learing Heroes is dedicated to informing and equipping parents to best support their children's educational and developmental success.
Eyal leads Learning Heroes’ efforts to support schools, districts, and others that want to build their capacity for deeper and more meaningful partnerships with families. He recently earned his Doctorate of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) from Harvard University, a pursuit that included partnering with Dr. Karen Mapp in co-authoring the Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships (Version 2).
Previously, he was the founder of the Family & Community Engagement Office in the Cajon Valley Union School District. Eyal’s work and views are shaped by his professional roots in community organizing and youth mentoring, as well as his personal upbringing in a bilingual Latino immigrant home.
National Parents Union Keri Rodrigues, Founding President,
The National Parents Union is a network of parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country committed to improving the quality of life for children and families in the United States. NPU unites these organizations behind a common set of principles that put children and families at the center of the national education narrative. With delegates representing each of the 50 states, NPU disrupts the traditional role of parent voice in policy spaces and recently launched the Everyday Parents Impacting Change (EPIC) campaign. NPU’s unprecedented watchdog campaign demands transparency from federal, state and local elected officials to verify that federal funding is spent on student-centered investments that are rooted in access and equity for children who need it the most.
Keri Rodrigues is the Founding President of the National Parents Union. Called “arguably the most successful parent organizer in education advocacy today,” her outstanding commitment to social, economic, and educational equity for children and families spans decades.
The Rural Alliance Kevin Jacka, Chief Executive Officer
The Rural Alliance is a birth-through-College/Career collaboration with a clear focus on post-secondary program completion & career readiness for rural students.
For over 35 years, Kevin Jacka has been a rural educator, 18 years as a teacher and coach, 12 years a small rural school, district superintendent and five years as the Executive Director of The Rural Alliance. He was the Lead Superintendent for the PREP Consortium, a Commissioner for the State Charter School Commission and co-developer of The Rural Alliance.
John White Former Louisiana Superintendent of Education, 2012-20
John White served as Louisiana State Superintendent of Education from January 2012 to March 2020. In that role, he developed nationally recognized efforts to unify the state’s fragmented early childhood system, to modernize curriculum, to professionalize the preparation of educators, and to provide pathways to prosperity for all high school graduates.
Prior to being named State Superintendent, John served as Superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District, leading the reformation of public schools in New Orleans in the years after Hurricane Katrina. He previously served as Deputy Chancellor for the New York City Department of Education and as Executive Director of Teach For America in Chicago and New Jersey.
John currently serves as managing principal for Watershed Advisors, co-founder and chairman of Propel America, and director at Great Minds PBC.
The Southern Regional Education Board
SREB is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Atlanta that works with states to improve public education at every level, from early childhood through doctoral education. SREB helps policymakers make informed decisions by providing independent, accurate data and recommendations; helps educators strengthen student learning with professional development, proven practices and curricula; and helps policymakers, institutions and educators share scarce resources to accomplish more together than they could alone.
Jocelyn Pickford K-12 Policy Expert and CurriculumHQ Author, HCM Strategists
Jocelyn Pickford is a K-12 policy and communications specialist focused on understanding and promoting practitioner-informed public policy across the education sector as a Senior Affiliate with HCM Strategists. She began her career in education as a high school English teacher, led the U.S. Department of Education’s design and launch of the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship, and was a recent member of her local district school board. Jocelyn is a proud graduate of Trinity College and the George Washington University. When not leading discussions on high-quality instructional materials on the CurriculumHQ platform, you can find Jocelyn enjoying time with her husband, two children, and pandemic puppy.
The Education Trust Denise Forte, Interim CEO
The Education Trust is a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families. Through their research and advocacy, Ed Trust supports efforts that expand excellence and equity in education from preschool through college, increase college access and completion particularly for historically underserved students, engage diverse communities dedicated to education equity, and increase political and public will to act on equity issues.
Denise Forte (pronounced “fort”) is the interim CEO at The Education Trust. With more than two decades of experience in the federal legislative and executive branches advancing progressive education and family policy, Denise brings strategic leadership to the organization’s efforts to engage policymakers and diverse coalitions of advocates in demanding and securing equity-advancing policy change at the national and state levels.
EdAllies Matt Shaver, Policy Director
EdAllies partners with schools, families, and communities to ensure that every young Minnesotan has access to a rigorous and engaging education. They advance policies that put underserved students first, remove barriers facing successful schools and programs, and foster an inclusive conversation about what's possible for students.
Matt Shaver is the Policy Director at EdAllies. Prior to working in education policy, Matt was an elementary and middle school teacher in Massachusetts and Minnesota.
The Data Quality Campaign Rachel Anderson, Director of Policy and Research Strategy
DQC is the only national nonprofit policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that education data works for individuals, families, educators, communities, and policymakers.
Rachel leads DQC’s work to understand and support the field’s progress and impact in using data in service of student learning. She guides the organization’s research strategy and collaborates with partners and policymakers to identify best practices and success stories. Rachel’s work also focuses on student data privacy, federal policy, education research, and state and federal legislation. Rachel was most recently DQC’s Director of Policy and Practice, leading the organization’s work to foster an effective role for the federal government in supporting education data use.
Leslie Villegas Senior Policy Analyst, New America
Leslie Villegas is a senior policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America, where she focuses on the PreK–12 policy landscape for English learners. Her work focuses on incorporating an equity-and asset-based approach into federal and state education policy through accountability, assessment, funding, and other key policy areas. Inspired by her own experiences as a first-generation Mexican immigrant raised in California, Villegas believes equitable access to quality education is the key to creating a more fair, inclusive, and representative society. She holds a master’s degree in international development from the University of Edinburgh and a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Sacramento.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center Anne Wicks, Director of Education Reform
Anne Wicks, the Ann Kimball Johnson Director of Education Reform at the Bush Institute, develops and oversees the policy, research, and engagement work of the Education Reform Initiative team.
The Bush Institute Education Reform Initiative partners with nationally-known research organizations, policymakers, and school districts to generate new research to advance the field of principal leadership and to share comparable education data and promising accountability practices.
New Leaders works to ensure high academic achievement for all children, especially students in poverty and students of color, by developing transformational school leaders and advancing the policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed.
Dale Chu K-12 Policy Expert and AssessmentHQ Author, DC Strategies
Dale’s career includes two decades of work in P-12, serving as teacher, lead teacher, assistant principal, principal, and consultant in both rural and urban districts. He began his career in education as a Teach For America corps member in San Benito, Texas, located in the Rio Grande Valley along the U.S.-Mexico border. During his second year of teaching, Dale was recognized as the district’s teacher of the year. He later became the founding principal at a high-performing urban charter school. In three years, Dale took the school from a 26 percent to a 96 percent pass rate as measured by the state’s assessment. His school was recognized for achieving the highest African American student performance scores in the state. Dale is a graduate of Cornell University and earned a Masters degree in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, and resides in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and daughter.
Seal of Approval
Look out for the Expert Reviewer ‘Seal of Approval’ when exploring Practices in Focus.