• Elliot W. Eisner originally trained as a painter and taught high school arts. He believes in the importance of the arts in the development of mind and character, which sets him apart from many other commentators on school reform. He is the Lee Jacks Professor of Education and a professor of art at Stanford University. His research focuses on the formation of aesthetic intelligence and on the use of methods from the arts to study and improve education practice. Among Eisner’s many publications are The Kind of Schools We Need and The Arts and the Creation of Mind.
  • John I. Goodlad wrote the seminal A Place Called School: Prospects for the Future nearly 20 years ago, a volume that re-thrust the role of schooling in a democracy into the national conversation about education. Since then, he has been active in building research around the theme of renewal of schools and developing networks of partners to further this work. Other volumes, including those on better teachers, the moral dimensions of teaching and the public purpose of schooling, have helped to create the grounding for what he terms the “Agenda for Education in a Democracy.” The former dean of the Graduate School of Education at UCLA, Goodlad now is president of the Institute for Educational Inquiry and a founder of the Center for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington.
  • Patricia Albjerg Graham began her teaching career in Deep Creek, Va., a professional life that led her to the deanship of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the presidency of the research-oriented Spencer Foundation in Chicago. An education historian, she now is the Charles Warren Research Professor of the History of American Education at Harvard. Graham has taught at several other universities, received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and served as director of the National Institute of Education. The author of several books, she is working on a new volume about the rainbow phenomenon that she believes characterizes American education.
  • Phillip C. Schlechty has spent years, pushing, pulling and cajoling school leaders into not just accepting but leading the transformation of American public schools. He is the founder and CEO of the Center for Leadership in School Reform in Louisville, Ky., and an adviser to a number of school districts in the United States and Canada. A sought-after speaker on school reform, Schlechty also writes prolifically on the subject, including Shaking Up the Schoolhouse: How to Support and Sustain Educational Innovation and Schools for the 21st Century: Leadership Imperatives for Educational Reform.
  • Warren Simmons draws on his experience with urban school reform at the grassroots and national levels to develop further knowledge and shape policies as the executive director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Simmons was special assistant to the superintendent of the Prince George’s County, Md., schools, director of equity initiatives for the New Standards Project and a senior associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Before joining Annenberg, he was executive director of the Philadelphia Education Fund. In his current role, Simmons directs research and professional development activities centered on improving schools that serve disadvantaged students.