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About the Authors

Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University and founding president of LPI, created to provide high-quality research for policies that enable equitable and empowering education for each and every child. She is past president of the American Educational Research Association and author of more than 30 books and 600 other publications on educational quality and equity, including the award-winning book The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future. In 2006, she was named one of the nation’s 10 most influential people affecting educational policy, and in 2008, she directed the education policy transition team for President Obama.

Abby Schachner is a Senior Researcher at LPI, where she co-leads the Early Childhood Learning team and is a member of the Deeper Learning team. Her work focuses on translating research on children’s social, emotional, and academic development and the contexts that support such development to inform policy and practice. Schachner has more than 13 years of experience in conducting policy-relevant research on learning and development to better understand what works for whom and under what circumstances so that all children can succeed. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of California, Davis, and a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University.

Adam Edgerton is a Senior Researcher at LPI, where he is a member of the Educator Quality team. His work focuses on teacher and principal professional development and the implementation of k–12 standards at federal, state, district, school, and classroom levels. Edgerton has 7 years of experience as a teacher and administrator and 4 years of experience as a Researcher at the Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL). He holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, an Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Aneesha Badrinarayan supports LPI projects related to performance assessments. For the last decade, her work has focused on supporting states, districts, and educators to develop and implement student-centered systems of assessment that support all learners. Her passion for coherent and balanced systems of assessment stems from a commitment to high-quality teaching and learning for all and a deep interest in helping practitioners and leaders navigate their systems to achieve that vision. Badrinarayan earned an M.S. in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, where she served as a research fellow for the National Institute of Mental Health, and a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University.

Jessica Cardichon is the Director of LPI’s Washington, DC, office and the Director for Federal Policy. She is also a member of LPI’s Educator Quality, Deeper Learning, Equitable Resources and Access, and Early Childhood Education teams. She is the lead author of Protecting Students’ Civil Rights: The Federal Role in School Discipline and Advancing Educational Equity for Underserved Youth and is co-author of Making ESSA’s Equity Promise Real: State Strategies to Close the Opportunity Gap, Investing in Effective School Leadership: How States Are Taking Advantage of Opportunities Under ESSA, and Identifying Schools for Support and Intervention: Using Decision Rules to Support Accountability and Improvement Under ESSA.

Peter W. Cookson Jr. co-leads LPI’s Equitable Resources and Access team and provides leadership for several equity initiatives. In addition to teaching sociology at Georgetown University, he co-leads the American Voices Project, a joint research project of Stanford University, Princeton University, and the American Institutes for Research. Cookson began his career as a caseworker in New York City and then worked as a teacher in rural Massachusetts. Most recently, he was Managing Director of the think tank Education Sector and founded the Equity Project at the American Institutes for Research. He is the author of 16 books and numerous articles on education and inequality, social stratification, school choice, and 21st-century education.

Michael Griffith is a Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst at LPI. He is part of LPI’s Equitable Resources and Access team, focusing on school funding issues. Before joining the LPI team, Griffith was a school finance expert, first with the Education Commission of the States and then as an independent contractor. Over the past 20 years, he has worked with policymakers in all 50 states to help them reshape and reform their school funding systems, always to improve student achievement and education equity. His research work has focused on the condition of state and district budgets, the adequacy and equity of state finance formulas, and promising practices in funding programs for high-need students.

Sarah Klevan is a member of LPI’s Deeper Learning team, working on projects focused on whole child education. Prior to joining LPI, Klevan was a Research Associate for the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, where she led several research projects focused on the New York City school system. An overarching question frames Klevan’s research: How and in what ways do schools simultaneously reproduce and disrupt patterns of inequality? Situated within this broader interest, she has conducted research studies on a variety of topic areas, including best practices for immigrant youth, college-readiness initiatives, anti-racism education for teachers, and restorative approaches to school discipline.

Anna Maier is a Research Analyst and Policy Advisor at the Learning Policy Institute. She co-leads the Deeper Learning team, with a focus on community schools and performance assessment. She oversees the California Performance Assessment Collaborative. She is also the lead author of Community Schools as an Effective School Improvement Strategy: A Review of the Evidence and Leveraging Resources Through Community Schools: The Role of Technical Assistance. Maier has experience with a variety of roles in k–12 education. She began her career managing an afterschool program for elementary school students in Oakland and went on to teach 2nd and 3rd grade in the Oakland Unified School District and Aspire Public Schools. She was also a member of the research and evaluation team at Coaching Corps, a youth sports nonprofit in Oakland. As a graduate student fellow with the Center for Cities & Schools at UC Berkeley, she worked with West Contra Costa Unified School District on implementing a full-service community school initiative.

Monica Martinez provides strategic direction and support for multiple initiatives across LPI, most specifically focused on performance assessment. Martinez has spent her career focused on addressing college success at both the higher education level and the k–12 level. She has served as a President Obama appointee to the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the President of the New Tech Network, the Vice President for Education Strategy at KnowledgeWorks, and a Senior Associate at the Institute for Educational Leadership. Martinez holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University and a B.A. in Sociology from Baylor University.

Hanna Melnick is a Research Analyst and Policy Advisor at LPI, where she co-leads the Early Childhood Learning team. Her research has focused on school climate, social and emotional learning, and accountability, as well as building effective early learning systems. Previously, Melnick conducted research on California’s Local Control Funding Formula and early learning programs. She began her career in education as an elementary school teacher. Melnick holds an M.P.P. from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and received her B.A. from Harvard University.

Natalie Truong is a member of the State Policy and Whole Child Education teams at LPI, where she works to connect research and evidence-based policies to support state policymakers and leaders toward whole child student success. Prior to joining LPI, Truong was Policy Director at the Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL), where she provided research and technical assistance to state policymakers on transforming k–12 education. Truong holds a master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in English and Political Science from Grinnell College. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Research Methods at George Mason University.

Steve Wojcikiewicz is a member of LPI’s Educator Quality team. He is a co-author of the book Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning and of several case studies of educator preparation programs that are part of that project. His focus is on initiatives related to educator preparation research, practice, and policy, including the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), an initiative of LPI and the Bank Street Graduate School of Education focused on teacher and leader preparation for deeper learning and equity.