Monday, February 4, 2008

Susan Fuhrman

NU alum Susan Fuhrman holds an extremely important job. She recently completed her first year as the president of Teachers College, Columbia University. Susan earned her bachelor's and master's degree in history at Northwestern University and her PhD degree in political science and education at Columbia University. She is also chair of the management committee of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education. Her many professional involvements include membership on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Coca-Cola Council for Corporate and School Partnerships.

Susan is a noted education researcher who was an early analyst of the state education standards movement. Together with David K. Cohen of the University of Michigan and Fritz Mosher of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Susan recently published The State of Education Policy Research (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007), a new compendium of essays about education policy research. Dr. Fuhrman notes that “The growing centralization and standardization of certain areas of education policymaking coexists uneasily with the public’s desire for local control of its schools. It results in a system that is very tightly controlled around some issues – e.g., civil rights, state standards and assessments – and very loosely controlled around other functions, most notably teaching and learning.”

NU alum with school aged children are keenly aware that their states are now dealing with difficult educational issues such as performance standards, assessment and accountability. Not to mention No Child Left Behind. We are fortunate that one of our most distinguished alums is playing such an important role in the discussions about public education policy.

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