Chief Academic Officer & Advisory Board Co-Chair
Chief Academic Officer & Advisory Board Co-Chair
Sheena is responsible for providing educational leadership for Generation Ready. Sheena is one of the original literacy experts that brought Balanced Literacy to the United States in the 1990s and was responsible for spearheading the partnership between Generation Ready and New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) to roll out the Middle School Quality Initiative, now in place in over 100 middle schools.
Sheena had a national profile in New Zealand for her work in literacy. She worked with the New Zealand Ministry of Education in a consultancy role. She was a member of the National Advisory Group for the development of the NZ National English Curriculum Statement. She has also served as a teacher, administrator, reading advisor and the Director of Primary Programs at the Dunedin College of Education.
A noted author in the area of literacy, her publications include The Reader as Learner, Dancing with the Pen, Reading for Life, and Exploring Language.
Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Administration, Planning and Social Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Dr. Richard Elmore joined the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1990, having previously taught at the College of Education, Michigan State University, and the Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. Richard is a member of the National Academy of Education, and a past president of the Association for Public Policy and Management, the national organization representing graduate programs in public policy and management. He has held positions in the federal government as a legislative liaison with the U.S. Congress on education policy issues. He is currently director of the Doctor in Educational Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program at HGSE. His current research and clinical work focuses on building capacity for instructional improvement in low-performing schools. Richard spends at least one day per week in schools, working with teachers and administrators on instructional improvement. He is coauthor of Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning (Harvard Education Press, 2009), and author of School Reform From the Inside Out: Policy, Practice, and Performance (Harvard Education Press, 2004).
Distinguished Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences, UCLA
Pedro Noguera is a Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA. His research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. He is the author of eleven books and over 200 articles and monographs. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA he served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University (2003 – 2015) Harvard University (2000 – 2003) and the University of California, Berkeley (1990 – 2000). From 2009 – 2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education. Noguera recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, from the National Association of Secondary Principals, and from the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.
Co-director of the Education Policy Center and Distinguished Professor, Michigan State
Dr. William Schmidt is a University Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Education Policy Center. He holds faculty appointments in measurement and quantitative methods and the Department of Statistics. William’s current writing and research concerns issues of academic content in K- 12 schooling, teacher preparation and the effects of curriculum on academic achievement. He is also concerned with educational policy related to mathematics, science and testing in general. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
President and CEO of the QEM Network, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education
Dr. Ivory A. Toldson is the president and CEO of the QEM Network, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education. Previously, Dr. Toldson was appointed by President Barack Obama to devise national strategies to sustain and expand federal support to HBCUs as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCUs). He also served as senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and contributing education editor for The Root, where he debunked some of the most pervasive myths about African-Americans in his Show Me the Numbers column.
Dr. Toldson was promoted to full professor while on leave from Howard University to serve President Obama’s administration. He spent 3.5 years at Southern University and A&M College (SU), in Baton Rouge, LA, and more than a decade at Howard University in Washington, DC. At SU, Dr. Toldson was named young researcher of the year after successfully competing for the prestigious W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Toldson continued a high level of research productivity at Howard University, evidence by publishing 4 books, and more than 65 scholarly publications including articles in peer-refereed journals, book chapters, and policy reports. Dr. Toldson became the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Negro Education (established 1932) in 2008, where he led an effort to modernize The Journal, moving it to an online platform for peer reviews and subscriptions, while keeping it independently owned and run by Howard University. His efforts attracted many new international subscribers.
Dr. Toldson was dubbed a leader “who could conceivably navigate the path to the White House” by the Washington Post, one of “30 leaders in the fight for Black men,” by Newsweek Magazine, and the “Problem Solver” by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Dr. Toldson, according to former U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan, is “a prolific young scholar and myth buster.” According to NPR, Dr. Toldson has “a desire to shed new light on old issues.” A sought-after speaker, Dr. Toldson has been featured on MSNBC, C-SPAN2 Books, NPR News, POTUS on XM Satellite Radio, and numerous national and local radio stations. In print, his research has been featured in The Washington Post, CNN.com, The New York Times, The Root, The National Journal, Essence Magazine, BET.com, The Grio, and Ebony Magazine.
Dr. Toldson was named in the 2013 and 2014 The Root 100, an annual ranking of the most influential African-American leaders. His body of research was featured in The Foundation Center report, Building a Beloved Community, for his role in shaping sponsored programs for Black male achievement. Dr. Toldson was awarded the: Equity Champion Award from the New York City Department of Education; Outstanding Alumni Award from Penn State Black Alumni Association; Top 25 Forensic Psychology Professors, ForensicsColleges.com; and The Emerging Scholar designation from the Diverse Magazine.
Director of WestEd’s Teacher Professional Development Program
Dr. Aída Walqui directs WestEd’s Teacher Professional Development Program as well as the Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) project. As Director of QTEL, Walqui brings a career long focus on increasing the academic success of English language learners. She leads the development and implementation of the QTEL approach to professional development and the articulation of QTEL principles in the development of QTEL curricula. Walqui collaborates with school and district leaders across the country to tailor QTEL implementation that is responsive to local needs. She is often found observing and coaching in the classrooms of teachers learning the QTEL approach.
Aída has taught in high school and university settings, including the School of Education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Stanford University, where she coordinated the cross-cultural, linguistic, and academic development emphasis in the STEP program. She has also taught in other universities in Peru, Mexico, England, and the United States. Aída has authored books for the study of Spanish for Spanish speakers in American schools; a book for teachers of Spanish as a second language in Andean countries; a book on the teaching of indigenous languages in intercultural, bilingual programs; an ethnographic study of immigrant students in secondary schools in the United States; and a number of articles in journals and edited volumes. She is a member of several national and international teacher professional development advisory boards.
Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty in Educational Leadership, University of Southern Mississippi
Dr. Mike Ward serves as a consultant to state and local education leaders on matters related to leadership, school improvement, strategic planning, and assessment. He is also a professor of practice in educational leadership at North Carolina State University.
From 1997 to 2004, Mike served two terms as State Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina. During his tenure, the state earned a reputation for rapid progress in the performance of its public schools. He is past President of the Council of Chief State School Officers and a past member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the administration of National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Mike is a past recipient of North Carolina’s Superintendent of the Year award. A three-time graduate of North Carolina State University, he received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. While at the University of Southern Mississippi, he was cited as a Hero of Katrina and received the College of Education and Psychology’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Mike is an active volunteer. He is engaged in community development in South Sudan. He volunteers in rebuilding efforts related to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew. He is a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children. He serves on the Advisory Board of the College of Education at N.C. State University and chairs the College’s capital campaign steering committee.
Associate Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School
Dr. Jal Mehta is an Associate Professor in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His primary research interest is in understanding what it would take to create high quality schooling at scale, with a particular interest in the professionalization of teaching. He is the co-editor of the recently released The Futures of School Reform (Cambridge: Harvard Education Press, 2012), and the author of the forthcoming The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). Jal is currently working on two projects: The Chastened Dream, a history of the effort to link social science with social policy to achieve social progress; and In Search of Deeper Learning, a contemporary study of schools, systems, and nations that are seeking to produce ambitious instruction. Jal received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University.