Jeanne Allen is considered one of the nation’s most accomplished and relentless advocates for education reform, and a recognized expert, speaker and author in the field. She is senior fellow and president-emeritus of the Center for Education Reform (CER), which she founded in 1993, and Vice President for Education Policy & Communications at HotChalk, Inc. where she is developing quality programs to support teacher advancement, particularly for charter school organizations. At CER, Jeanne leads EdReform University©, a unique online program to teach students the history of education reform policy. She also serves as advisor to the Modern States Education Alliance, whose signature effort, “Freshman Year for Free,” is designed to expand access to higher education and permits students to enroll in high quality EdX MOOCs for credit.
An active participant in many other state and national efforts, Jeanne is on the Education Innovation Council for GSV Advisors & Arizona State University and advises the University of Pennsylvania’s education entrepreneurship efforts, where she is also a graduate student. She serves on several boards, including the Friendship Public Charter School Foundation in Washington, DC and the Challenge Charter School in Chandler, AZ.
The Education Industry Association honored Jeanne with its “Friend of Education Award” in 2012. Additional honors include Working Mother’s “Most Powerful Moms in Education” and the Black Alliance for Educational Options Champion Award in 2013.
A frequent commentator in television and media, Jeanne has also published hundreds of articles and commentaries in newspapers and journals and regularly contributes to the National Journal Education Experts forum as well as her own blog, Reality Check-In. Her honesty and linear thinking on issues such as reform, choice for parents, and teacher accountability has made her articles in outlets such as The Huffington Post essential reading. Her book, The School Reform Handbook: How to Improve Your Schools (1995) ignited parent-led efforts for education reform and her latest publication Education Reform: Before it Was Cool (2014) documents critical milestones during her work over the past 20-plus years.
Jeanne has been a trusted advisor to presidential administrations, governors, and lawmakers, and continues to provide valuable counsel to policymakers, philanthropists and her colleagues in education. She began her career on Capitol Hill and was a senior official in the US Department of Education from 1983-1988. She earned a bachelors degree in political science from Dickinson College and anticipates receiving her masters’ degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015.
Among her charitable and civic work, Jeanne is a Dame of Malta, a member of the John Carroll Society, and the Italian Cultural Society. When time permits, she enjoys visiting the village of her family’s origin in Campania, Italy and time on the water, especially with her husband Dr. Kevin Strother, an educator, musician and charter boat captain. Her four young adult children are in various stages of school and work, not surprisingly in the education reform arena.
Additional information can be found at www.jeanneallen.net.