Senior Leadership, Northeast Comprehensive Center

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Everett Barnes

Principal Investigator
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Bio:
Dr. Everett W. Barnes, Jr. serves as the Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC) Officer in Charge/Project Director. Dr. Barnes began his career in education in 1965 as a high school history and geography teacher in a rural, high-poverty school district in New Hampshire. He later became an elementary school principal and in 1970 he joined the Bureau of Educational Research and Testing Center (BERTC) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). While at BERTC, Dr. Barnes was responsible for the administration and management of the New Hampshire State Assessment Program and served as the lead evaluator for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) programs in innovative education, bilingual education, cross-district collaborative services, team teaching, individualized instruction, and career education. While at UNH, Dr. Barnes earned his Master of Arts degree in Education Administration while teaching courses in educational psychology, test interpretation, and grant writing.

Dr. Barnes earned his Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and joined RMC Research Corporation, Washington, DC, in 1973. Dr. Barnes continued to serve as Project Director for state and local evaluation, development, and training contracts focused on elementary and secondary education instruction, innovation, professional development, and restructuring for students in poverty, students with disabilities, limited English proficient students, incarcerated youth, students in career and vocational education programs, and Native American students.

In 1974 Dr. Barnes became the Project Director for the New England Title I Technical Assistance (TAC) Center, providing consultative and technical assistance to states, districts, and schools in implementing the first ESEA Title I Accountability and Evaluation Reporting System. Since 1974, Dr. Barnes has served continuously as the Project Director or Co-Director of federal ESEA Title I technical assistance centers that assist states and districts with the implementation of policies, programs, and regulations associated with ESEA. Dr. Barnes has also served as the Project Director for the National Diffusion Network, disseminating promising/proven practices; the Western Bilingual Evaluation Assistance Center; and the National Reading Technical Assistance Center.

As part of the Northeast Comprehensive Center, Dr. Barnes serves as a liaison to Content Centers, is part of the Senior Management Team, and works with the team providing direct assistance services to the State of New York.

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Larry Hirsch

Co-Director
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Bio:
Lawrence Hirsch, a Vice President at RMC Research, currently serves as the Director of the RMC Research New York office and is the Director of the New York Comprehensive Center. He has had prior experience as a Senior Research Associate at the New York Technical Assistance Center (NYTAC) at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University and as Project Director for school leadership programs at NYTAC.

With over 40 years of experience in public education, Hirsch has been cited as an exemplary principal in and outside of New York City. He has served on a panel with the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department on the New York Learning Standards and with the New York State Assembly’s Minority Task Force on Education Standards; was on the Commissioner’s Middle School Reform Advisory Group; and has made numerous presentations for the New York State Education Department on learning standards, middle school education, school reform, and school leadership.

Hirsch has a Master of Arts degree in Education and holds certification in NYS in School Administration and Supervision as well as School District Administration.
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Carol Keirstead

Co-Director
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Bio:
Dr. Carol Keirstead is the Co-Director of the Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC) and is responsible for the overall design and operation of the center along with Larry Hirsch, Co-Director. Together, they colead and oversee the work of RMC staff and partner organizations in providing state and regional services to support district and school improvement efforts. They are jointly responsible for staff supervision and professional development, the effective use of resources and project budgeting, and the design and implementation of systems to support Center operations.

As a technical assistance provider for the NCC, Dr. Keirstead provides direct services to state leaders in the Northeast in the design and execution of reform and improvement efforts. She serves as the State Liaison for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and carries out both regional and state initiatives focused on the design and implementation of comprehensive educator support and evaluation systems. In that role, she designs and convenes face-to-face and virtual meetings that feature national experts, research-based material resources, and processes that enable state leaders to learn with and from one another.

Dr. Keirstead has over 30 years of experience in leading and managing educational enterprises. She brings to her work the solid knowledge and skills needed to successfully engage educators in the work of advancing educational systems and practices. She possesses an array of technical assistance strategies and skills that are essential in assisting state education leaders in building their capacity to lead important educational initiatives. An experienced educator herself, Dr. Keirstead designs and implements technical assistance initiatives focused on outcomes in which learning and applying content is enabled through authentic engagement, the building of group effectiveness, and effective professional learning activities.

Dr. Keirstead has led and served on several other projects at RMC Research over the past 20 years, including technical assistance at the regional, state, and local levels; program evaluation; and research studies. Most recently, she successfully led the seven-year New England Comprehensive Center program of technical assistance that provided technical assistance to the six states in the region and met or exceeded performance measures each year. Other work included leading teams of educators in diagnostic reviews of charter, low-performing, and high-performing schools and writing reports that set forth in-depth analysis of school performance and capacity.

Prior to joining RMC Research, Dr. Keirstead worked as an administrator of educational programs for refugees, immigrants, and English-as-a-second-language learners. She served as an administrator of a PreK–4 university-public school program that served as a demonstration site for language acquisition in a trilingual model of instruction. Dr. Keirstead led a university teacher English-as-a-second-language training program and was vice-principal for instruction in an overseas refugee education program. In that role, she led a program of instruction that served Southeast Asian students aged 11 to 16 in an ESL and cultural-orientation program implemented by the program's Filipino staff. Dr. Keirstead holds a doctoral degree in Leadership in Schooling.

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Susan Mundry

Learning Innovations at WestEd
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Bio:
Susan Mundry, Director of Learning Innovations at WestEd, contributes to the Northeast Comprehensive Center’s efforts by serving on the senior management team and overseeing the work of WestEd’s technical assistance services provided through NCC. Mundry has extensive expertise providing technical assistance in several NCC focal areas, including the development of great teachers and leaders, college and career readiness, and support for low-performing schools.

She currently serves as a Senior Researcher for the Regional Education Laboratory–Northeast & Islands (REL-NEI), where she has coauthored studies on teacher quality and is currently the Lead Facilitator for the REL-NEI’s Research Alliance on Educator Effectiveness. A major focus of this work is supporting members to develop and use Student Learning Objectives as part of educator evaluation systems. Mundry also directs the technical assistance project supporting the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s School Redesign Initiative, which is supporting the redesign of high schools for the twenty-first century.

For over a decade, Mundry codirected the National Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership, which provided leadership development for science and mathematics education leaders in 30 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. She was a Co-Principal Investigator for two National Science Foundation projects on teacher development: Curriculum Topic Study, which developed and field-tested professional development materials for mathematics and science teachers; and Building Systems for Quality Professional Development, which produced a simulation game and professional development materials on building professional learning communities.

Mundry has served as an expert advisor to National Science Foundation projects, to the National Research Council, and to the National Science Teachers Association and as a committee member for Learning Forward. Prior to this, she was Associate Director of The NETWORK, Inc., an educational consulting organization with offices in MA and Washington, DC. There she provided technical assistance on equity and desegregation and organizational change. She codeveloped two acclaimed simulation games focused on organizational change, led national dissemination of one of the earliest educational software programs validated by the US Department of Education, and served on the executive management team, overseeing staff and work within two divisions: the National Center for Improving Science Education and the Center for Effective Communication.

Mundry is an author of several books, book chapters, and articles and the codeveloper of two simulation games. She coauthored Designing Effective Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics (2nd and 3rd editions); The Data Coach’s Guide to Improving Learning for All Students: Unleashing the Power of Collaborative Inquiry; Professional Learning Communities for Science Teaching; The Leader’s Guide to Science Curriculum Topic Study; The Leader’s Guide to Mathematics Curriculum Topic Study; and Leading Every Day: 124 Actions for Effective Leadership, which received a Book of the Year Award from Learning Forward. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Master of Arts degree in Education from Boston University.
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Stan Silverman

Director, NYIT TBLS
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Bio:
Professor Stan Silverman is a full professor in the School of Education at the New York Institute of Technology and the Director of the school’s Technology Based Learning Systems Department and Educational Enterprise Zone. He is widely regarded as a pioneer and national leader in distance learning and educational technology.

Silverman combines a physicist’s knowledge of technological hardware with a teacher’s insight into how it can be applied to enhance learning. He is a nationally known speaker on technology and education, serves on the NYS Regents Technology Council, and chairs the NYS Teacher Center Technology Committee. He is the author of numerous publications concerning technology and education and has served as the Project Director for many research and technology innovation projects funded by a wide variety of organizations.

Silverman has been honored by inclusion in the USDLA Hall of Fame and was the September 2003 profile winner of the Center for Digital Education's "In the Arena" program. Most recently, he has directed numerous grant projects, including multiple state-funded Title II-B STEM projects, Title II-D Enhancing Education Through Technology grants, a federally funded Institute for Museum Library Services (IMLS) 21st Century Museum Professionals grant, and an Innovation Challenge grant.
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William Slotnik

Community Training and Assistance Center
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Bio:
William J. Slotnik is the Founder and Executive Director of the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC). CTAC builds capacity and addresses root causes of poverty at local, state, and national levels by providing technical assistance, conducting research and evaluation, and supporting public policy initiatives. Since 1979, Slotnik has led CTAC in assisting and partnering with hundreds of school systems, states, unions, nonprofit organizations, coalitions, and philanthropic institutions to achieve positive and lasting results in low-income communities. This includes catalyzing major innovations throughout the United States in such areas as performance-based compensation, teacher and administrator evaluation, school and district turnarounds, state-to-district assistance, and community development.

Slotnik leads the CTAC teams that assist districts and states in incorporating compensation changes, evaluation, and evidence-based school improvement as core elements of broader systemic reform. This includes providing the technical assistance and conducting the comprehensive research study that supported the Denver Public Schools in implementing the groundbreaking Pay for Performance system for teachers, which successfully linked student achievement to teacher compensation for the first time in the United States. Denver’s new compensation system was subsequently approved by the teachers’ union and the Board of Education and supported by $25 million of new public funding. At the request of the U.S. Department of Education, Slotnik serves as technical expert to the Race to the Top–funded states, focusing on both tested and non-tested grades and subject areas. He also serves as the nation’s leading expert practitioner and evaluator of Student Learning Objectives for purposes of teacher evaluation and/or compensation reform at district and state levels.

Slotnik has provided extensive technical assistance to superintendents, boards of education, unions, and leadership teams and has designed and coordinated services in all phases of management, organizational, and leadership development. He has guided and supported the development of replicable systems of assessment, evaluation, and accountability to determine the performance and effectiveness of school districts. He has led national technical assistance and evaluation initiatives that address such issues as Student Learning Objectives, teacher and administrator evaluation, systemic reform, compensation reform, professional development, and the transformation of underperforming schools, as well as leadership development and organizational capacity in community-based organizations. This includes supporting state-to-district and state-to-school interventions in numerous states, including New Jersey, Ohio, and California, with student achievement increases in all participating districts.

One of Slotnik’s other accomplishments is the creation of the Standard Bearer Schools (SBS) process, a nationally acclaimed initiative that develops the capacity of urban districts to implement and evaluate systemic school reform and to turn around underperforming schools. The SBS process has been implemented with increases in student achievement in many districts nationally.

Slotnik has been the lead or colead author of numerous articles and evaluations (including Pathway to Results and Catalyst for Change, the first comprehensive, longitudinal evaluative studies of the impact of performance-based compensation on student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and systems change), and he regularly provides briefings to members of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, state legislatures and departments of education, and the media.
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Kevin Perks

Learning Innovations at WestEd
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Bio:
Dr. Kevin Perks supports the work of the Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC) in three areas: standards and assessment, Great Teachers and Leaders, and school turnaround. Dr. Perks is a Program Associate at Learning Innovations at WestEd. He brings energy and expertise on standards-based and college- and career-ready curriculum, instruction, and assessment to clients of the NCC. His experience in training and supporting the development of systems of educator evaluation and in turning around low-performing schools supports the regional and state initiatives of the NCC.

In his role at Learning Innovations, Dr. Perks offers assistance to schools, districts, and state agencies in implementing college- and career-ready standards that align with the Common Core State Standards and high-quality assessments; helping low-performing schools develop research-based policies, programs, curricula, and practices designed to turn around student achievement; and building viable and rigorous pathways that support student achievement and successful transitions from postsecondary learning to college and the workforce without the need of remediation.

Dr. Perks currently coleads a team of WestEd providers supporting a four-year plan to help schools in New Mexico align curriculum, instruction, and assessment around the Common Core State Standards. Over the past few years, Dr. Perks has successfully helped multiple schools and districts in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New Mexico use the Common Core State Standards to redesign programs, policies, and practices of instruction and assessment, as well as to develop student-, parent-, and teacher-friendly resources to improve student achievement.

Prior to joining WestEd, Dr. Perks served as a Curriculum Coordinator for a large district in southern Maine. As part of his role, he helped the district redesign its system of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to better use research and data to prepare students to be college and career ready. His work included the use of data-based decision-making to build effective programs of instruction, remediation, teacher training, and leadership development.

Dr. Perks holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Boston University, a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Hampshire.
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Joseph Frey

Community Training and Assistance Center
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Bio:
Joseph P. Frey, Senior Project Director and Senior Associate of National School Reform at CTAC, is responsible for key education initiatives relating to teacher evaluation, teacher licensure and certification, performance-based compensation, teacher preparation, state-to-district and state-to-school assistance, and college readiness.

Frey provides technical assistance at the district, multi-district, and state levels in developing, piloting, and implementing both teacher evaluation and performance-based compensation systems for teachers and principals. This includes working with individual districts in Virginia on separate Teacher Incentive Fund programs and working with a coalition of school districts in Central Ohio by creating an articulated teacher evaluation and performance-based compensation system that is significantly based on student growth at the classroom level.

Frey previously served 31 years with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), reaching the position of Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Higher Education. In that capacity, he was responsible for teacher/leader certification, teacher annual professional performance reviews, professional development, and alternative teacher certification. His prior positions include the Associate Commissioner, NYSED, Office of Higher Education, and Assistant Commissioner, NYSED, Office of Quality Assurance. Frey made substantial contributions to the successful New York State’s Race to the Top grant award and NYSED's successful Teacher Incentive Fund grant award.

Additional career highlights include the implementation of the Smart Scholars' Early College High School Program and implementation of an initiative to transform school leadership in New York State. Frey developed a data-driven Statewide Plan for Higher Education that engaged all four sectors and a data-driven approach to policy decisions in higher education in New York State. He directed the Board of Regents’ multiyear review of the impact of the end of remediation at the senior colleges of the City University of New York. He also created and oversaw the annual statewide analysis of teacher supply and demand, which evaluates the ability of 114 teacher preparation institutions in New York State to meet the staffing needs for high-needs subject areas and hard-to-staff schools. Frey worked on the development of the Regents' Teaching Policy, Teaching to Higher Standards: New York’s Commitment and was responsible for the implementation of the plan. He developed statewide policies and regulations to ensure that all teachers completed professional development specifically connected to their areas of certification. Additionally, Frey was responsible for the development of the first alternative teacher preparation program in the state’s history, designed to provide an expedited pathway to prepare teachers for high-needs schools.

Frey developed and implemented a $3-million, Wallace-funded grant program to establish a Cohesive Leadership System (CLS) for New York State. This program, which focused on school principals, included the transformation of pre-service programs, providing quality professional development for in-service school leaders through the development of a network of leadership academies statewide, and an evaluation system for practicing school leaders that is focused on enhancing their skills. Frey also developed and implemented a $6-million, Gates-funded grant to implement early college high schools for high-needs communities in New York State.