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Advisory Board

Charlotte Danielson, PhD

Charlotte Danielson is an internationally recognized expert in the area of teacher effectiveness, specializing in the design of teacher evaluation systems that, while ensuring teacher quality, also promote professional learning. She advises State Education Departments and National Ministries and Departments of Education, both in the United States and overseas. She is in demand as a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and as a policy consultant to legislatures and administrative bodies.

Dr. Danielson’s many publications range from defining good teaching (Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching, 2007), to organizing schools for student success (Enhancing Student Achievement: A Framework for School Improvement, 2002), to teacher leadership (Teacher Leadership that Strengthens the Profession, 2006), to professional conversations (Talk about Teaching! Conducting Professional Conversations, 2009), to numerous practical instruments and training programs (both on-site and online) to assist practitioners in implementing her ideas.

Peter C. Gorman

Peter Gorman brings more than two decades of experience in education to his role as Senior Vice President of Education Services for News Corporation. He began his career as a second-grade teacher in Orlando, Florida — and worked as a teacher, principal, and district-level administrator in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties in Florida before becoming superintendent of schools in Tustin, California. In 2006, Dr. Gorman became superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina. Under his leadership, the district won the 2011 Broad Prize in Urban Education, which recognizes increases in student achievement and closing of achievement gaps. The book Within Reach Leadership Lessons in School Reform by Tim Quinn and Michelle Keith chronicles the work in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. He graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Dr. Gorman also holds a master’s in business administration from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, as well as a master’s and doctorate in education leadership from the University of Central Florida.

John Kircher, PhD

John Kircher, Ph.D., is the Chair of the Learning Sciences program at the University of Utah. A psychophysiologist and research methodologist, John teaches graduate-level courses in statistics and research design. Over the past two decades, he and his team have developed computer algorithms for extracting diagnostic information from physiological recordings and have investigated the psychometric properties of such measures. His research makes extensive use of psychophysiological theory as well as computer, psychometric, and decision-theoretic methods. John’s academic honors include a faculty teaching award in the graduate school of education for Outstanding Teaching and Contributions to Teaching — and a chairmanship with the National Science Foundation.

Melissa Roderick, PhD

Melissa Roderick is the Hermon Dunlap Smith Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a co-director at the Consortium on Chicago School Research, where she leads CCSR’s research on post-secondary. Professor Roderick is also the co-director of the Network for College Success, a network of high schools focused on developing high-quality leadership and student performance in Chicago’s high schools. She is an expert in urban school reform, high school reform, high stakes testing, minority adolescent development, and school transitions. Her work has focused attention on the transition to high school as a critical point in students’ school careers — and her current work examines the transition to college among Chicago Public School students. In prior work, Professor Roderick led a multi-year evaluation of Chicago’s initiative to end social promotion and has conducted research on school dropout, grade retention, and the effects of summer programs. She is an expert in mixing qualitative and quantitative methods. Her new work focuses on understanding the relationship between students’ high school careers and preparation, their college selection choices, and their post-secondary outcomes through linked quantitative and qualitative research. From 2001 to 2003, Professor Roderick served as Director of Planning and Development for the Chicago Public Schools. At SSA, she is the faculty director of the community schools program, and serves as a member of the University of Chicago’s Committee on Education. Professor Roderick has a Ph.D. from the Committee on Public Policy from Harvard University, a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an A.B. from Bowdoin College.

Edd V. Taylor, PhD

Edd Taylor is a professor at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. After working as an elementary school teacher, Professor Taylor earned his Ph.D. in Cognition and Development from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California at Berkeley. He has conducted professional development for practicing teachers related to equity in mathematics education, and taught undergraduate and graduate level courses related to teaching methods, curriculum policy, and social context in education. Professor Taylor has served in leadership roles for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), and the Jean Piaget Society. His research and publications, which focus on teacher development, have been funded by the National Science Foundation through the Diversity in Mathematics Education Center for Teaching and Learning (DiME).

Dan Woltz, PhD

Dan Woltz is a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah. He received his Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Following his graduate studies and before coming to the University of Utah, he conducted research on aptitudes for learning at the Air Force Human Resources (Armstrong) Laboratory. His current areas of research are: 1) working memory and attention-driven processes that constrain learning and complex problem solving, 2) implicit memory processes that underlie various forms of automatic facilitation in learning and comprehension, 3) psychometric properties of alternative scoring methods for both self-report and performance measures, and 4) the detection of deception in responses. Professor Woltz teaches graduate courses in psychometrics, research design, and memory.

Kenneth Wong, PhD

A political scientist by training, Kenneth Wong has conducted extensive research in urban school reform, mayoral involvement in education, charter schools, state finance and education policies, intergovernmental relations, and federal education policies (such as restructuring efforts in high poverty schools). His research projects have received support from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences, and several foundations.

Dr. Wong is the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair for Education Policy at Brown. He has conducted extensive research in the politics of education, federalism, policy innovation, outcome-based accountability, and governance redesign (including city and state takeover, management reform, and Title I school-wide reform). His research has received support from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the Social Science Research Council, the Spencer Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the British Council, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Wong has advised the U.S. Congress, state legislature, governor and mayoral offices, and the leadership in several large urban school systems on how to redesign the accountability framework. Currently, he is co-editor of a major educational policy journal, Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Simmy Ziv-el

Simmy Ziv-el is a veteran executive in the educational technology market in the USA and globally. He is currently Vice President, Enterprise Growth and Digital Products at Professional Examination Service. Ziv-el spent 11 years with the not-for-profit Educational Testing Service (ETS), where he was Senior Director, Strategy and Business Development. At ETS, he played a leadership role in numerous initiatives involved in turning research into products and services, including the international practice of the Business Innovation & Growth Group, where he led a strategy to address the needs of English Language Learners beyond the core assessment business. Ziv-el was also founder, President and CEO of Discourse Technologies — an educational technology company.