Heather Krause, Data Scientist and Founder, We All Count
As a data scientist and statistician (one of only 150 accredited PStats worldwide), Heather Krause attacks the largest questions facing societies today, working with non-profit and social sector organizations, local and national governments, and data journalists. Her relentless pursuit of clarity and realism in these projects pushed her beyond pure analysis to mastering the entire data ecosystem including ground-breaking work in data sourcing, design, visualization, communication, and journalism, each incorporating bleeding edge theory and technologies. Never satisfied to accept stale answers or perspectives, her methodology is rigorous and unconstrained by convention.
Teacher Focused Breakout Session
Moderator, Founder, The Teacher Collaborative
Maria Fenwick is the founder and Executive Director of the Teacher Collaborative. Maria taught in Boston Public Schools for six years and brings an extensive network of local education leaders from non-profits, foundations, districts/CMOs, and state policy. As an independent contractor, Maria built a strong brand around her expertise in teacher engagement that is purposeful and outcomes-driven. Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Colby College, a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from UMass Boston/Boston Teacher Residency.
Susan Moore Johnson
Panelist, Jerome T. Murphy Research Professor in Education
Susan Moore Johnson, a former high school teacher and administrator, is the Jerome T. Murphy Research Professor in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as academic dean from 1993 to 1999. She is a member of the National Academy of Education.
Johnson is a national expert on teachers’ work and the policies that shape it. She directs the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers at Harvard, where she and her colleagues have studied alternative preparation, hiring, induction, performance-based pay, teacher leadership,
and local union leadership (www.projectngt.gse.harvard.edu).
Johnson’s new book, Where Teachers Thrive: Organizing Schools for Success (2019), explores how schools that succeed in low-income communities support and enhance their teachers’ work. Her three earlier books about teachers and their work provide the foundation for this current study: Teacher Unions in Schools (1984); Teachers at Work (1990); and
Finders and Keepers (2006).
Johnson also is an authority on leadership in school districts. Her 1996 study of new
superintendents captures the challenges of leading change from the top. Between 2007 and 2014 Johnson served as co-chair of the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP), a collaboration between the Harvard Business School and Harvard Graduate School of Education, which is dedicated to improving the leadership and management of large school systems. In Achieving Coherence in District Improvement (2015), Johnson and her PELP colleagues explore the working relationship between the central office and schools in five large urban school districts.
Presenter, Assistant Professor, Boston University
Panelist, Superintendent, Salem Public Schools
As the proud superintendent of the Salem Public Schools, Dr. Steve Zrike is committed to building a culture of excellence focused on providing students with cognitively demanding and engaging lessons, creating strong systems for social and emotional support in all schools and above all, dismantling districtwide structures that perpetuate inequities. Previously, Steve served five years as the Receiver of Schools in Holyoke where they increased the graduation rate by more than 20%, decreased the dropout rate by more than 50%, more than doubled prekindergarten enrollment and oversaw a fourfold increase in early college/dual enrollment participation for students. Additionally, Steve was the superintendent of schools in Wakefield, MA, a regional superintendent in the Chicago Public Schools and a principal in the Boston Public Schools.
Presenter, Associate Professor, Boston University
Panelist, Commissioner, Colorado Department of Education
Student Centered Breakout Session
Moderator, Vice President, EdVestors
Heather Johnson currently serves as Vice President, Programs, Strategy & Impact at EdVestors, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing equitable, meaningful education that prepares every Boston student to activate their power and shape their future. She oversees three program areas and provides strategic direction, leadership, and thought partnership related to EdVestors’ influence and impact. Heather joined EdVestors from JFF, a national nonprofit that drives change in the American workforce and education systems to ensure access to economic advancement for all. While at JFF, she was focused on building, aligning, and executing organizational strategy and also worked on the Pathways to Prosperity team. Previously, Heather served as the director of the Teacher Education Program at the College of the Holy Cross and as a mathematics specialist at the Rhode Island Department of Education. Across roles and contexts, her work and perspective are significantly shaped by her experiences as a middle grades mathematics teacher in school communities that are deeply committed to student voice, community empowerment, and racial justice.
Jennifer Greif Green
Presenter, Associate Professor, Boston University
Dr. Jennifer Greif Green is an Associate Professor in Special Education and a child clinical psychologist. She completed her doctorate at the University of California, Santa Barbara and trained at Yale School of Medicine and in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on supporting students with emotional/behavioral disorders and bullying prevention. Within these lines of research, Dr. Green studies teacher identification of students with mental health needs, racial/ethnic disparities in mental health service access, and youth bullying involvement. She has developed surveys to assess bullying in schools and has evaluated school-based bullying prevention and mental health promotion programs. She collaborates with a number of local schools and districts to support student social-emotional well-being and reduce bullying. Dr. Green’s work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, MetroWest Community Health Foundation, and Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund. Dr. Green co-directs the Social Adjustment and Bullying Prevention Laboratory.
Presenter, Assistant Professor, Boston University
Presenter, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Education Policy Initiative at University of Michigan
Tareena Musaddiq a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Education Policy Initiative at University of Michigan. She uses both experimental and quasi-experimental quantitative methods to evaluate the causal impact of policies on K-12 schools and early childhood education. For more information on her research, please click here.
Prior to joining EPI, she was a Graduate Research Assistant at Georgia Policy Labs. She received her PhD in Economics from Georgia State University. She completed MSc in Finance and Economics from University of Warwick and BSc (Hons.) in Economics from Lahore University of Mananagement Sciences.
Presenter, Associate Professor, Boston University
Panelist, President, National Parents Union
Keri Rodrigues is Matthew, Miles and David’s mom and was elected President of the National Parents Union in 2020. 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. Her work, impact and perspective has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, the Washington Post, POLITICO and the Boston Globe among others.
Following her own difficult experience surviving the Massachusetts public school system and receiving her GED from Boston Public Schools, Rodrigues was not surprised when she struggled navigating the education system with her own children. Knowing that schools were not adequately meeting the needs of students and parents, she turned her focus to education activism, eventually helping other families across the Commonwealth identify and use their voice and place kids at the center of the education discussion. Rodrigues began her career as an award-winning journalist and continued her career in advocacy as a long-time labor activist, communicator and organizer with the world’s largest local labor union, 1199SEIU, leading major campaigns across the country. Armed with this experience and success, Rodrigues has served as founder and Mom-in-Chief of Massachusetts Parents United, the largest parent advocacy organization in the Commonwealth, reaching more than 250,000 families across Massachusetts since 2016. Keri’s impact extends beyond Massachusetts Parents United as an elected member of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, serving on the Executive Committee of the Ethnic Council of the Democratic National Committee and the advisory board of Democrats for Education Reform.
Panelist, Chief Equity & Strategy Officer, Boston Public Schools
Dr. Charles Grandson became the first Chief Equity & Strategy Officer for Boston Public Schools (BPS) in 2019 . Having previously served as BPS’s Chief Academic Officer and before that, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Grandson leverages his experiences across academics and operations to support the superintendent in the development and execution of the district-wide strategic plan. As Chief Strategy Officer, he serves as the Superintendent’s representative in forging strategic partnerships throughout the City of Boston and in supporting the work of the Office of Equity, Office of Opportunity Gaps, Office of Recruitment, Cultivation & Diversity, and the Office of Strategy & Innovation. He has been committed to the work of educational equity in K-12 education and higher education for the past two decades.
Before returning to BPS in 2017, Dr. Grandson was Interim Superintendent of the Malden Public Schools, Deputy Superintendent of the Poughkeepsie city school district in New York, and a turnaround high school principal in Springfield. Grandson began his career in education after receiving his bachelor’s, master’s, and a doctorate in education all from Boston College. His work began as a BPS humanities teacher at the West Roxbury Education Complex, where he worked to close opportunity and achievement gaps by implementing data-driven inquiry cycles and culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogy. Dr. Grandson resides in Boston with his wife Jahmeelah Bai-Grandson and their son Charles Grandson V.
Panelist, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Education
Dr. Jason E. Glass is commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). Glass, a native of Brandenburg and a third-generation Kentucky educator, has been commissioner of education since September 2020. Before that, he had been superintendent and chief learner of Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado since 2017.
A 1990 graduate of Meade County High School, Glass received a bachelor’s degree in political science and history in 1994, a master’s in political science in 1996 and a master’s in education in 2007 from the University of Kentucky (UK).
Glass began his teaching career at Hazard Independent Schools, working as a high school social studies teacher from 1996 to 1998. While still a graduate student, he already was serving as an instructor at UK and at Georgetown College.
Glass received his doctorate in education leadership in 2011 from Seton Hall University. He holds a certificate in advanced education leadership from Harvard University, received in 2019.
From 2001 to 2006 he held progressively senior positions with the Colorado Department of Education, then worked as vice president of quality ratings for Qualistar Early Learning. He served briefly as senior director of human capital strategy for Ohio-based Battelle for Kids before Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad appointed him state Director of Education. Glass served as Iowa’s chief state school officer from 2010 to 2013. From 2013 to 2017 Glass was superintendent of Eagle County Public Schools in Colorado.
In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Glass to the National Board for Education Sciences.
David J. Chard
Moderator, Dean, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development
David J. Chard, PhD, is Dean of Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. He was previously President of Wheelock College before its merger with Boston University. Prior to that, Dr. Chard served as Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he created a strategic vision focused on undergraduate and graduate programs built on evidence-based practices.
Among his accomplishments at SMU were developing a qualified and diverse faculty, strengthening interdisciplinary collaborations, building new academic programs and fostering a positive culture. During his 10-year tenure, the Simmons School grew to include five departments with an operating budget of over $25 million and more than $60 million was raised in support of the school and its mission.
Dr. Chard holds a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon and a B.S. degree in mathematics and chemistry education from Central Michigan University. He has held faculty positions at Boston University, the University of Texas at Austin and served as associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. At Oregon, he oversaw curriculum and academic programs in the College of Education.
Dr. Chard has published more than 100 articles, monographs, book chapters, and books. He is a member of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, and has served in leadership roles in numerous professional organizations. Prior to his becoming dean, Dr. Chard was an active researcher focused on studying instructional practices that are most effective at meeting the needs of students with learning disabilities. He has directed or co-directed grants and contracts totaling more than $15.5 million.
He is the author of numerous instructional programs on early literacy, language arts, and mathematics spanning K-12 education and has been a classroom teacher in California, Michigan, and in the U.S. Peace Corps in Lesotho in southern Africa.
A frequent presenter at national and international education conferences, Dr. Chard has taught courses on behavior management, special education reading and writing, learning disabilities, and special education law. He has served on more than 30 doctoral dissertation committees in special education, communication disorders and sciences, literacy and language, school psychology, and cognitive psychology.
In October of 2011, Dr. Chard was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES). He was confirmed in 2012 by the U.S. Senate and was elected chair of the board in 2013.
Dr. Chard is the father of three adult children.
Panelist, Massachusetts Secretary of Education
As Massachusetts Secretary of Education, James Peyser directs the Executive Office of Education, which oversees early education, K-12, and higher education. Secretary Peyser sits on each of the boards governing the Commonwealth’s education agencies, as well as the University of Massachusetts system. He is Governor Charlie Baker’s top advisor on education and helps shape the Commonwealth’s education reform agenda.
Before serving as Secretary, he was the managing director at NewSchools Venture Fund. He supported innovative education entrepreneurs in urban communities to transform public education. Secretary Peyser was Massachusetts Board of Education’s chairman from 1999 to 2006. He also served as education advisor to Governors Bill Weld, Jane Swift and Mitt
Romney. He developed state policies of standards and assessments, school accountability, and charter schools.
Panelist, Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents
Dr. Mary M. Bourque is the former Superintendent of the Chelsea Public Schools, located in Chelsea, Massachusetts. A life-long educator committed to improving public education and opening the doors of opportunity for all students, Ms. Bourque received her Master’s in Education from Boston University School of Education in Administration, Training, and Policy; and holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration also from Boston University’s School of Education. Her doctoral research centered upon the impact of student mobility in urban districts within Massachusetts and the consequences mobility has upon schools’ and districts’ performance accountability. Her doctoral research informed the 2010 Massachusetts Reauthorization of Education Reform and the resulting inclusion by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of the annual ”churn” or “mobility” rate of students in school and district profiles. She is a founding member of the Five District Partnership which was based on her doctoral research. Ms. Bourque served as the 2016-2017 MASS President; was awarded the 2017 AASA Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year and the Massachusetts Association of School Committees Thomas “Tip” O’Neill Jr. Award. She served for two years on the Foundation Budget Reform Commission and was a strong advocate in the passage of the 2019 Student Opportunity Act. Ms. Bourque retired from the Chelsea Public Schools, January 2020 and currently serves as Director of Government Affairs for Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, as a Coach for new superintendents, and a part-time instructor at Boston University. She continues to advocate for public education and for all students across the Commonwealth.
Panelist, Founder & CEO, Latinos for Education
Amanda Fernandez is a social entrepreneur and CEO/Founder of Latinos for Education, the first Latino founded and led national organization solely dedicated to creating leadership pathways for emerging Latino leaders in education and diversifying education nonprofit boards. Amanda began working on issues of educational opportunity and representation serving as the Vice President of Latino external engagement at Teach For America and a Director at The Bridgespan Group, supporting clients on organization and talent development. Amanda’s career spans over 25 years working in the fields of recruiting, diversity, organization development, change management, strategic planning and Latino community engagement.
Over the course of her professional career, Amanda has been a frequent speaker at conferences and events. She is a Trustee of the Board with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Roxbury Community College. She is a Fall 2015 Aspen Pahara Fellow out of the prestigious Aspen Institute and delivered the convocation speech at Boston University School of Education graduation. El Planeta has twice named her one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in Massachusetts and she’s a Senior Fellow at FutureEd. Amanda holds an M.S. in Education from Fordham University and a B.A. from Western Illinois University. She lives in the Boston area with her spouse and two children.
Takeru "TK" Nagayoshi
Panelist, 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year
Takeru “TK” Nagayoshi is the 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Professional Learning Director on Community Events at Panorama Education, and a former high school AP English and research teacher in New Bedford, MA. As an education advocate, TK has focused on policy around diversifying our schools and supporting leadership opportunities for teachers of color. He has written op-eds on culturally responsive work; helped recruit educators of color through the MA Department of Education; and serves on several state committees, task forces, and advisory boards to fight for equitable and anti-racist policy recommendations. A nationally recognized educator, TK also leads trainings and workshops around the country, ranging on topics from pedagogy, curriculum and content, to education policy and advocacy work. TK has received recognitions such as the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence (2021), Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teacher Leadership Award (2019), Boston University Young Alumni Award (2019), and Sontag Prize in Urban Education (2018). He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with an honors B.A. in international relations and from Boston University an M.Ed in Curriculum and Teaching. As a son of Japanese immigrants and a gay person of color, Takeru leverages his identities to fight for and center equity in his teaching and teacher leadership.