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Iowa Education Policy Discussion

Education Resource People and Presenters

  • Joe Cullen Center for State Innovation
  • Laura Dresser COWS
  • Danielle Ewen CLASP
  • Liam Goldrick New Teacher Center
  • Larry Good Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
  • Amee Guidera Data Quality Campaign
  • Stephanie Hirsh NSDC
  • Sandi Jacobs Vice President for Policy, National Council on Teacher Quality
  • Steven OvelThe Workforce Alliance
  • Allen Phelps University of Wisconsin
  • Joel Rogers Center for State Innovation (CSI)
  • Rachel Schumacher CLASP
  • Nancy Smith Data Quality Campaign
  • Margie Wallen National Policy Consultation at the Ounce of Prevention Fund

    Joe Cullen

    Joe Cullen is a Senior Advisor to CSI on outreach, with particular interest in energy. Joe is former Director of the Governor's Policy Office for the Governor of Pennsylvania and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Planning Board, and served as a Special Assistant to the Governor of Pennsylvania providing advice on energy, environmental, insurance, election law and education reform issues. He was policy and budget director for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and has over 10 years of experience in the private sector working as an environmental and land use attorney in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Cullen holds a BA from Yale University and a JD from GeorgetownUniversity.

    Laura Dresser
    Laura Dresser is a labor economist and Associate Director at COWS. She coordinates the Center’s policy analysis, research, and policy dissemination work and is especially active in labor market research and policy. An expert on the Wisconsin economy, low-wage work and workforce development, she has worked with community, labor and business leaders to build innovative local training responses to changing labor market realities. She has published research on labor market systems, career advancement, unions, and racial labor market inequality and is currently co-editing a volume The Gloves Off Economy: Problems and Possibilities at the Bottom of the Labor Market. Dresser holds a Ph.D in economics and social work and an MSW from the University of Michigan.

    Danielle Ewen
    Danielle Ewen directs the Child Care and Early Education Policy team. Prior to joining CLASP, Danielle Ewen was the Senior Policy Analyst at the Trust for Early Education (TEE), where she worked on federal policy issues related to pre-kindergarten. Prior to joining TEE, Ms. Ewen worked at the Children’s Defense Fund as a Senior Program Associate in the Child Care and Development Division. In that role, she worked on issues related to early childhood education policy, including child care, Head Start, pre-kindergarten, and school-age care, and helped develop several publications, including reports on state child care and pre-kindergarten policies and investments. These include Low Income Families Bear the Burden of State Child Care Cutbacks and State Developments in Child Care, Early Education and School-Age Care 2002. Ms. Ewen was also the Assistant Director for the National Child Care Information Center. In that position, she provided technical assistance to grantees of the Child Care and Development Block Grant, oversaw a large question-and-answer service, and responded to requests for information about the child care subsidy system from policymakers, parents, providers, and others in the child care field. In addition, Ms. Ewen is the author of several publications that examine the child care assistance system and state spending on quality initiatives, including: Child Care and Development Block Grant Report of State Plans and Report on the Activities of the States Using Child Care and Development Block Grant Quality Improvement Funds. Ms. Ewen was also a Policy Analyst at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Migrant Education, where she worked on issues related to implementation of Chapter 1 programs, family literacy, bilingual education, and evaluation. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University.

    Liam Goldrick
    Liam is Director of Policy at the New Teacher Center (www.newteachercenter.org). He is responsible for designing, developing, and overseeing a range of initiatives designed to create a dialogue among policy makers, advocates, union leaders, district leaders, and other key education stakeholders in order to support high quality new teacher and administrator mentoring and induction. Initiatives primarily focus on guiding state and federal level processes that lead to legislative action and/or modifications in state or federal agency practices that lead to improved support for new teachers and administrators. Liam received his Masters Degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Prior to joining the New Teacher Center @ UCSC, Liam served as Education Policy Advisor for Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and as a Senior Policy Analyst for the National Governors Association, Center for Best Practices in Washington D.C.

    Larry Good
    Larry co-founded the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce in 1991 and served as its initial President and CEO until 2005. Entering 2006, he shifted to the role of Chairman, moving from management responsibility to focusing on strategic relationships and initiatives for the organization. Prior to starting CSW, Larry served as a senior manager in workforce development for the State of Michigan for seven years during which time he helped invent and launch several major initiatives that were recognized nationally as leading practices. Larry leads CSW’s work with the State of Michigan on its Reshaping Workforce Investment Initiatives, including the creation of Regional Skill Alliances, entrepreneurship strategy, reframing of the state’s approach to labor market information, reshaping low-wage worker policy, among other elements of a comprehensive strategy. He is involved with similar initiatives at a state, regional or local level in several other states, including currently Oklahoma and Minnesota. Larry has a BA in Political Science from Oakland University and a MA in Finance from Michigan State University.

    Aimee Guidera
    As Director of the Data Quality Campaign, Aimee Guidera manages a growing partnership among national organizations collaborating to improve the quality, accessibility and use of education data.  Aimee joined the National Center for Educational Accountability as Director of the Washington, DC office in 2003 to promote the vital role Just For The Kids School Reports can play in current education reform efforts of national education, business, and government organizations.
    During her eight previous years in various roles at the National Alliance of Business, Aimee supported the corporate community's efforts to increase achievement at all levels of learning.  During her tenure with the Alliance as vice president of programs, she managed the Business Coalition Network, comprised of over 1,000 business led coalitions focused on improving education in communities across the country. Prior to joining the Alliance, Aimee worked at the National Governor's Association. There, she analyzed and monitored state and national education policies, provided technical assistance to improve family-focused services, and worked with a task force of CEOs and governors on school readiness.  Early in her career, Aimee taught for the Japanese Ministry of Education in five Hiroshima high schools where she interviewed educators and studied the Japanese education system.
    Aimee received her AB from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, and her Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. At Princeton, Ms. Guidera's thesis was titled, "The Evolution of the Role of Business in Public Education."

    Stephanie Hirsh
    Stephanie Hirsh is the executive director of the National Staff Development Council. The Council is the largest non-profit membership association focused solely on improving student achievement and school performance through effective professional learning.  Hirsh presents, publishes, and consults on behalf of the Council across North America.  She facilitated the process that led to the national dissemination of NSDC’s Standards for Staff Development and directed the development of the Innovation Configurations:  Moving Standards Into Practice.  Her most recent books are The Learning Educator co-authored with Joellen Killion, Transforming Schools Through Powerful Planning co- authored with Kay Psencik, and Innovation Configurations Set II co-authored with Shirley Hord and Pat Roy.  She writes a regular column for the JSD.

    Sandi Jacobs
    Sandi Jacobs is the Vice President for Policy at the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).   Before joining NCTQ, Ms. Jacobs worked at the U.S. Department of Education as a Senior Education Program Specialist for the Reading First and Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration programs. Prior to that, she taught 4th and 5th grade for nearly a decade at Public School 9 in Brooklyn, New York. Ms. Jacobs was a Presidential Management Intern and a charter corps member of Teach For America. She holds a MA in sociology of education from Columbia University's Teachers College and a BA in history from Columbia College.

    Steven Ovel
    Steven Ovel is the Executive Directorof Governmental Relations at Kirkwood Community College, inCedar Rapids, Iowa. During his twenty-five years at Kirkwood, Steve has provided administrative leadership to the areas of development and foundations, community relations, economic development, business and industry training, grants, governmental relations and assistant to the president. He is a member of the state board of directors of the Iowa Workforce Development Department and was involved in the redesign of Iowa’s workforce development delivery system in 1996.  He also serves on the national board of directors of The Workforce Alliance. For the past sixteen years, Steve has served the Iowa community college system as a lobbyist before the Iowa Legislature specializing in education, job training, workforce and economic development and corrections education.

    Allen Phelps
    Allen Phelps is a professor in the Department of Educational Administration, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Over the past two decades his research, teaching, and public service work has focused on the interaction between the education and economic sectors with particular attention to policy initiatives, equity issues, and professional development. Allen has written extensively on K12 practices and policies including inclusive learning, post-school student outcomes, the effect of teacher learning in the workplace and the community.

    Joel Rogers
    Joel Rogers is a professor of law, political science, and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He directs COWS, the national think-and-do tank on high road development, and the new Center for State Innovation (CSI). Rogers has written widely on democratic theory and American politics and public policy. His most recent book (with Richard Freeman) is What Workers Want (2006). A longtime activist as well as academic, Newsweek identified him as one of the 100 Americans most likely to shape US politics and culture in the 21st century.

    Rachel Schumacher
    Rachel Schumacher is Senior Fellow for Child Care and Early Education Policy at CLASP. Since joining CLASP in 1999, Ms. Schumacher’s work has focused on promoting early care and education policies that support both child development and the needs of working parents, especially for low-income families.

    While at CLASP, Ms. Schumacher’s research and policy work has included understanding state approaches to integrating early education, examining available data to describe federally funded programs, and describing state financing decisions. Her work on integration issues includes the report titled Meeting Great Expectations: Integrating Early Education Program Standards in Child Care, in which the authors examined state pre-kindergarten programs and other state strategies to require participating child care providers to meet early education program standards that routinely exceed state child care licensing rules. Earlier she coauthored State Initiatives to Promote Early Learning: Next Steps in Coordinating Subsidized Child Care, Head Start and State Prekindergarten, which identified key challenges and responses in expanding early learning opportunities by drawing on the very distinct experiences of Georgia Pre-K, Massachusetts Community Partnerships for Children, and Ohio’s state Head Start expansion. Untapped Potential?: How States Contract Directly with Providers to Shore Up Child Care Choices for Low-Income Families, examined how states use contracts directly with child care providers to fill supply gaps and expand choices available to families. She has also studied the federal Head Start program and has authored a series of policy briefs describing Head Start children, families, teachers, and programs from 1997 to 2003. Other publications include: The Impact of TANF Funding on State Child Care Subsidy Programs, Child Care after Leaving Welfare: Early Evidence from State Studies, The Child Care and Development Fund: An Overview, and Welfare Reauthorization: An Early Guide to the Issues.

    Prior to joining CLASP, Rachel worked on child and family issues at the local and state levels. Her past experience includes serving on the Board of the Cincinnati Association for the Education of Young Children and working as a staffer for a Massachusetts state legislator, specializing in part on early care and education issues. Ms. Schumacher earned a Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in Child and Family Policy from the University of Chicago, Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

    Nancy Smith
    As Deputy Director of the Data Quality Campaign, Dr. Smith oversees the operations of the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) at the National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA), including research, newsletters, publications and the annual survey of state data systems. Dr. Smith’s expertise is in statewide longitudinal data systems and program evaluation. 
    Previously at NCEA, Nancy was responsible for research and development activities for the JFTK school reports and served as the director of programming and technology at Just for the Kids/NCEA. Prior to NCEA, Dr. Smith was employed at the Texas Education Agency in the Research and Evaluation division and the Accountability and School Accreditation division. She also conducted extensive program evaluation projects and participated in large-scale changes to the management information system at the Texas Department of Human Services.
    She also serves on the National Forum for Education Statistics Longitudinal Data System Task Force, the CCSSO EIMAC Longitudinal Student Data Systems Task Force, the NAEP High School Transcript Study Technical Panel and the USED Institute of Education Science Statewide Longitudinal Data System Review Panel. She received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1997 with an emphasis in Statistics, Psychometrics, and Program Evaluation.

    Margie Wallen
    As Assistant Director of National Policy Consultation at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Margie Wallen provides technical assistance to advocates in selected states to increase public investments in high quality, research-based early childhood development services for at-risk infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families. Prior to her current role, Margie coordinated the work of the Illinois Early Learning Council, which developed the Preschool for All report upon which Illinois’ Preschool for All program is built. Margie has over 25 years experience in public policy and has consulted on a variety of state initiatives to enhance access to high-quality early childhood services, including designing and implementing a comprehensive early childhood professional development system. Margie is a State Early Childhood Policy Leadership Forum Fellow and a member of the McCormick Tribune Center for Early Childhood Leadership’s Advisory Board. She is a frequent presenter at conferences, and has produced numerous reports and papers. Margie holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.