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Ted Hershberg, Director

Ted Hershberg is the Director of Operation Public Education and a professor of public policy and history at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught since 1967. He holds MA and PhD degrees in American history from Stanford University. He was acting dean of Penn's School of Public and Urban Policy and served as assistant to the mayor of Philadelphia for strategic planning and policy development. He has written and lectured extensively in the fields of urban-industrial development, regional cooperation, and education policy.

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Claire Robertson-Kraft, Research Director

Claire Robertson-Kraft is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and the Research Director of Operation Public Education, where she oversees the research evaluation of a systemic approach to improving teacher effectiveness. In addition to her work at OPE, she serves as an education consultant in the region with a particular focus on program evaluation and policies designed to improve teacher quality. She is also very active in the civic community, serving as President of PhillyCORE Leaders and on the boards of Leadership Philadelphia and Russell Byers Charter School.

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Katie Schlesinger, Project Manager

Katie Schlesinger is the Project Manager for Operation Public Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to working with OPE, she taught first and second grade at Tinsley Elementary with Teach For America in Houston, TX. Katie also worked as an Interdisciplinary Instructional Coach in Houston. Katie holds a B.A. in psychology from Brown University and a M.S.Ed. in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Mark Fermanich

Mark Fermanich is an assistant professor of education policy at Oregon State University. Prior to joining the Oregon State faculty, Dr. Fermanich worked as a senior researcher for the Center for Education Policy Analysis at the University of Colorado Denver, as a research associate with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and as an education policy analyst for the Minnesota State Senate. Dr. Fermanich is an expert in the areas of education policy, finance, compensation, and reform. He currently serves as the primary technical assistance provider for fiscal sustainability and alternative teacher compensation for cohorts three and four of the federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant program. He has worked on school finance equity and adequacy studies in six states and has consulted for both large and small school districts on the costs of school improvement strategies, the costs of effective professional development, school-based financing systems, and school and teacher effectiveness.

Joel Giffin

Joel Giffin is the former principal of Maryville Middle School in Maryville, Tennessee, an educational consultant, and Milken Award winner. As a principal, he used a value-added system to diagnose and evaluate each individual student's needs and incorporated the Multi-Grade Level program (MGL) at Maryville, which allows students in grades 6-8 to grow at their own pace using a combination of hands-on, non-traditional, traditional, and technology-based instruction. He created a program called Academic Intervention, which provides at-risk students from low-income, single-parent families with supplementary instruction during the school day. Students in the program have demonstrated considerable academic improvement, earning Maryville recognition as a Blue Ribbon School.

Julia E. Koppich

Julia E. Koppich is a San Francisco-based education consultant and President of J. Koppich & Associates. Dr. Koppich holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from the University of California at Berkeley and has been a consultant to multiple organizations, including: the U.S. Department of Education; the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future; National Governors' Association; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; the National Alliance of Business; the American Federation of Teachers; the National Education Association; and the National Science Foundation. She is the co-author of two books: A Union of Professionals and United Mind Workers: Unions and Teaching in the Knowledge Society.

Shepard Ranbom

Shepard Ranbom is founder and president of CommunicationWorks, L.L.C. In leading the firm since 1996, Ranbom has focused on increasing the visibility and power of ideas and institutions through leveraging research, the media, issue-driven campaigns, grassroots advocacy initiatives, and marketing techniques. He has helped both launch new nonprofit organizations and revitalize the image of well-established institutions. His clients have included many of the nation's leading foundations, corporations, education nonprofits, and research institutions, such as Achieve, Inc.; Center for Education Policy; Educational Testing Service; IBM; Intel; Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; National Geographic Society Education Foundation; National Center on Public Policy in Higher Education; President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; Teachers College, Columbia University; and the U.S. Department of Education.

Lynn Sawyer

Lynn Sawyer is an international educational consultant, presenting workshops and seminars on the Framework for Teaching and many other educational practices. In her many years an educator, Lynn Sawyer has been an alternative high school teacher, a curriculum specialist, and a professional developer. As the Director of Professional Development for the Washoe County School District (90 K-12 schools, 4000+ teachers), Reno, Nevada, and as the administrator of a regional professional development agency, she trained a staff of professional development providers and conducted workshops and seminars. She led a district-wide implementation of a teacher evaluation system based on Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching, (Danielson, ASCD, 1996), which includes a coaching model to support teacher self-directedness. She is a Training Associate for the Center for Cognitive Coaching, MiraVia, ASCD Faculty, Center for Adaptive Schools, and the Danielson Group.

John Schacter

John Schacter, President of The Learning Growth Network, is an expert on teacher quality and data driven decision making. His company developed Aldine ISD's statistical growth model and reporting system, as well as trained Aldine ISD educators how to interpret and use student learning growth results. Dr. Schacter has trained thousands of teachers and administrators across the United States. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA in educational psychology and graduated with highest honors in literature from UC San Diego. Before starting his own consulting company, Dr. Schacter served as vice president of research for the Milken Family Foundation, Senior Fellow at Stanford's Educational Leadership Institute, and continues to teach as an Adjunct Professor of educational psychology at San Jose State University.


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Horatio Blackman

Horatio Blackman is OPE's Research Assistant for the Giffin model and is currently a doctoral student studying education policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a B.A. in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University and an M.S. in Educational Theory and Policy from Pennsylvania State University. His interests are in education policy, specifically urban education.


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Gillian Page

Gillian Page is a former Research Assistant for Compensation. She worked for two years in charter schools, first in Jamaica Plain, MA, and later in Newark, NJ. She also works part-time on the Evaluation Team at Penn's Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Gillian holds a B.A. in government and legal studies and Spanish from Bowdoin College and an MS in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Daniel Schiff

Daniel Schiff is a former Research Assistant for Operation Public Education at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on educators in non-tested grades and subjects. He holds an A.B. in philosophy from Princeton University with a focus on robotics & intelligent systems and an M.S. in social policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Daniel's interests are in education policy and education technology.