Educational reform speaker to address students on campus: Former Special Assistant to the President to talk about improving educational policy

Posted by Julia Leef

Andrew Rotherham, co-founder and partner at Bellwether Education, a nonprofit organization that improves education for low-income students, will speak on "Racing to the Top? The Whats and Whys of Today's Education Reforms," in an open event at 7 p.m. on April 11 in Gannett Auditorium.

Rotherham, who lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters, has involved himself in several organizations dedicated to education reform, including the Virginia Board of Education and the Education Sector, a nonprofit organization dedicated to challenging conventional thinking in education policy.

"I met him when I took a class from him at UVA in Education Policy," said Hope Casto, assistant professor of Education Studies who invited Rotherham to speak on campus. "He has Skyped with my School and Society class in past semesters. The students have enjoyed the conversations with him so much that the department decided to bring him to campus."

Rotherham leads Bellwether's thought leadership, idea generation and policy analysis work and writes the weekly "School of Thought" column for TIME magazine. He also writes on the blog and is the co-publisher of "Education Insider," a federal policy research tool produced by Whiteboard Advisors.

Further adding to his list of experiences, Rotherham previously served at the White House as special assistant to the president for domestic policy during the Clinton administration.

Rotherham has authored or co-authored more than 200 published articles, book chapters, papers, books and op-eds regarding education policy and politics.

He also serves on advisory boards and committees for several organizations, including Education Pioneers, The Broad Foundation and the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.

Rotherham is on the board of directors for the Indianapolis Mind Trust, is vice chairman of the Curry School of Education Foundation at the University of Virginia and serves on the Visiting Committee for the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In the lecture, Rotherham will describe what he sees as the crucial areas in school reform in today's society, giving examples of what areas work, as well as what can be improved. He will also discuss how dramatic improvements in America's education system are essential to ensuring equal opportunity and creating a just society.

"His experience with the Virginia Board of Education and in the White House allow him to shed light on both state level and federal level policy and decision-making," Casto said. "Overall, he is an excellent and engaging speaker and expert in the field, and I am sure it will prove to be an educational and exciting evening."

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