Student Achievement Partners was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core State Standards. We are a non-profit organization with one purpose: to help all students and teachers see their hard work lead to greater student achievement.
As educators, as researchers, and as citizens, we view the changes brought by the Common Core and other state standards with a similar focus on college and career readiness as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for kids of all backgrounds and ability levels to better fulfill their potential. Like the standards themselves, we are evidence-based in our approach. Our work is aimed at ensuring that teachers across the country are able to put the standards to work, quickly and effectively, to help their students and colleagues aspire to a higher standard and reach it. Accordingly, the content available on this site is assembled by and for educators and is freely available to everyone to use, modify and share.
We invite educators and people curious about the Common Core State Standards to explore what the site has to offer, including hundreds of math and literacy resources for teachers, resources for leaders who are putting college and career readiness standards into action in their own schools, and opportunities to become an advocate for the Common Core and college and career readiness for all students.
Student Achievement Partners reserves no right to intellectual property
Our goal is to create and disseminate high quality materials as widely as possible. All resources that Student Achievement Partners creates are open source and available at no cost. We encourage states, districts, schools, and teachers to take our resources and make them their own.
Student Achievement Partners does not compete for federal, state or district contracts
Ensuring that states and districts have excellent materials for teachers and students is a top priority. We do not compete for these contracts because we work with our partners to develop high quality RFPs that support the Common Core State Standards.
Student Achievement Partners does not accept money from publishers
We work with states and districts to obtain the best materials for teachers and students. We are able to independently advise our partners because we have no financial interests with any publisher of educational materials. Student Achievement Partners’ independence is essential to our work.
Student Achievement Partners In The News
Helmsley Charitable Trust Makes $11 Million Grant to Engage Teachers Across the Country in Meeting New College and Career Ready Standards
- Board and Advisors
- William McCallum
- Phil Daro
- Michael Casserly
- Kaya Henderson
- William H. Schmidt
- Lee Wilson
- Sandra Alberti
- Barbara Beske
- Amy Briggs
- Mike Briscoe
- Sabrina Chan
- Beth Cocuzza
- Colleen Dietrich
- Jessica Eadie
- Rachel Etienne
- Joanie Funderburk
- Nancy Gannon
- Lisa Goldschmidt
- Marni Greenstein
- Laura Hansen
- Celeste Hogan
- Gail Hyland
- Travis Jones
- Katie Keown
- Silas Kulkarni
- David Liben
- Meredith Liben
- Elizabeth Meier
- Tanuka Mukherjee
- Susan Pimentel
- Anna Schattauer Paillé
- Claire Rivero
- Catherine Schmidt
- Amanda Vitello
- Max Wagner
- Stacy Wetcher
- Gene Wilhoit
- Jason Zimba
To learn more about each member of the Student Achievement Partners team, please click on a name at left.
William McCallum, Advisor
William G. McCallum is a University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Head of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Arizona. Born in Sydney, Australia in 1956, he received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Harvard University in 1984, under the supervision of Barry Mazur. After spending two years at the University of California, Berkeley, and one at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, he joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in 1987. In 1989 he joined the Harvard calculus consortium, and is the lead author of the consortium's multivariable calculus and college algebra texts. In 1993-94 he spent a year at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, and in 1995-96 he spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study on a Centennial Fellowship from the American Mathematical Society. In 2005 he received the Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars from the National Science Foundation. In 2006 he founded the Institute for Mathematics and Education at the University of Arizona. He was Director of the Institute until 2009 and now chairs its advisory board. In 2009 - 2010 he was a lead writer for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. His professional interests include arithmetical algebraic geometry and mathematics education. He has received grants and written articles, essays, and books in both areas. In 2012, he won the American Mathematical Society's Award for Distinguished Public Service.
Phil Daro, Advisor
Philip Daro works to advance the design and use of improvement tools at every level of the educational system, and he consults with states and school districts on their accountability systems and mathematics programs. He was a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
He directed the New Standards Project and Research and Development for the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) - there his responsibilities included test development, development of mathematics curriculum, and staff development programs.
He has consulted for the New York City School District, the El Paso Collaborative, Los Angeles School District, Chicago Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, states of Vermont, Georgia, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and California and others. He directed large scale teacher professional development programs for the University of California including the California Mathematics Project and the American Mathematics Project. His sixteen years at the University included six years directing projects to help states develop standards, accountability and testing systems. He has taught mathematics and has held leadership positions with the California Department of Education. He has served on many committees including: NAEP Validity Committee; RAND Mathematics Education Research Panel; College Board Mathematics Framework Committee; ACHIEVE Technical (Assessment) Advisory Group, Mathematics Work Group; Technical Advisory Committee to National Goals Panel for World Class Standards, National Governors Association; Title I Commission organized by Council of Chief State School Officers; Mathematical Sciences Education Board of the National Research Council; California Public Broadcasting Commission; and The Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC). He is currently working with the Pearson Foundation and the Gates Foundation to develop a digital curriculum for mathematics from Kindergarten to the college ready level.
Michael Casserly, Independent Board Member
Michael Casserly has served as Executive Director of the Council of the Great City Schools since January 1992. Casserly also served as the organization's Director of Legislation and Research for 15 years before assuming his current position. As head of the urban school group, Casserly unified big city schools nationwide around a vision of reform and improvement; led the nation's largest urban school districts to volunteer for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); guided the organization to be the first national education-membership group to call for the Common Core Standards; initiated an aggressive technical assistance program to improve urban education; directed the development of public education’s first performance management system; and led the first national study of common practices among the nation’s fastest improving urban school districts. He is currently spearheading efforts to boost academic performance in the nation’s big city schools; strengthen management and operations; and improve the public’s image of urban education. An article in USA Today some years ago called him a “Crusader for Urban Schools.” He is a U.S. Army veteran, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and a doctoral degree from the University of Maryland.
Kaya Henderson, Independent Board Member
Kaya Henderson has served as Chancellor of DC Public Schools (DCPS) since June 2011. Under Henderson’s leadership, DCPS has become the fastest-improving urban school district in the country. Henderson has championed the launch and expansion of a range of innovative programs – such as blended learning, the Schoolwide Enrichment Model and extended-day – to increase academic achievement for all students. As a result, students across the city are performing at higher levels in reading and math; high school graduation rates have increased; more classrooms are led by highly effective teachers; more families are choosing DCPS, with enrollment increasing after decades of decline; and student satisfaction is high.
Henderson joined DCPS in 2007 as Deputy Chancellor responsible for overseeing the Office of Human Capital. In this role, she served as chief negotiator for the groundbreaking 2010 contract between DCPS and the Washington Teachers’ Union and led the development of IMPACT, the school system’s professional development and assessment system designed to ensure that an effective teacher is leading every classroom in DCPS.
Prior to joining DCPS, Henderson was a partner at The New Teacher Project (TNTP) responsible for helping urban school districts recruit and retain effective teachers. Previous to her work at TNTP, Henderson was executive director of Teach For America – DC and national admissions director and recruiter at Teach for America. She began her career in education as a middle school Spanish teacher in the South Bronx.
Henderson earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations and master’s degree in leadership from Georgetown University. She also holds honorary doctorate degrees from Georgetown University and Trinity University. Henderson serves on the Board of Directors for Georgetown University and on the Board of Trustees for The College Board, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Student Achievement Partners. Henderson is actively involved in a number of community and professional organizations including the Executive Committee of the Council of Great City Schools, Pahara Aspen Fellowship, Nevada Leadership Institute, and Raise DC. She shares her insights and DCPS success stories on Twitter @HendersonKaya.
William H. Schmidt, Independent Board Member
William H. Schmidt is a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and director of the Center for the Study of Curriculum. He serves as co-director of the Education Policy Center and holds faculty appointments in Statistics and Education. Previously he served as National Research Coordinator and Executive Director of the US National Center which oversaw participation of the United States in the IEA sponsored Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
He has published in numerous journals including the Journal of the American statistical association, Journal of educational statistics, Educational evaluation and policy analysis, and the Journal of educational measurement. He has co-authored eight books including: Why Schools Matter, Teacher Education Matters, and Inequality for All. His current writing and research concerns address issues of academic content in K-12 schooling, assessment theory and the effects of curriculum on academic achievement. He is also concerned with educational policy related to mathematics, science and testing in general.
Dr. Schmidt received the 1998 Willard Jacobson Lectureship from The New York Academy of Sciences and is a member of the National Academy of Education. In 2009 he was elected in the first group of Fellows in the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Schmidt served on the Steering Committee for Review of the Evaluation Data on the Effectiveness of NSF-Supported Mathematics Curriculum Materials. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Concordia University in 1997.
He received his bachelor’s degree. in mathematics from Concordia College in River Forrest, IL and his d. from the University of Chicago in psychometrics and applied statistics.
Lee Wilson, Independent Board Member @embir
Lee Wilson is CEO of Filament Games. With stints in hardware, software, and textbooks he speaks from 26 years of experience in the K12 market.
He has been an executive at Apple, Pearson, Harcourt, PCI Education, and Chancery Software. Through his consultancy, Headway Strategies, he was worked with 40+ companies across the industry on strategy and go-to-market programs.
He is on the boards of AAP and Presence Learning. Formerly he served on the AEP Board, the SIIA Board, and was involved in the start of SIF and LRMI.
Lee earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sandra Alberti @salberti
Sandra Alberti is the Director of State and District Partnerships and Professional Development for Student Achievement Partners. Sandra joined Student Achievement Partners from the New Jersey Department of Education where she served as the Director of Academic Standards and as the Director of Math and Science Education. In these roles, Sandra was directly involved in state standards, assessment, and professional development policy and implementation strategies. Prior to working at the state level Sandra held several district-level positions including school superintendent, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, principal, subject area supervisor and high school science teacher. She holds a bachelor's degree in Biology from Rutgers University and master's and doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership from Rowan University.
Barbara Beske @beske3
Barbara Beske joined Student Achievement Partners in 2012 as a member of the Mathematics team. Her work spans multiple math initiatives, focusing particularly on implementation of the Common Core State Standards with respect to curriculum and teacher engagement. Barbara has 20 years of math teaching experience at the middle school, high school and community college levels in New Jersey. Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Education from Bucknell University.
Amy Briggs @AmyBriggs10
Amy Briggs is a Managing Partner of Student Achievement Partners. Prior to joining Student Achievement Partners in 2012, Amy supervised district and state program implementation at Kaplan K12 and The Grow Network. Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mike Briscoe joined the Student Achievement Partners team in 2012. His work on the Mathematics team focuses on assessment of the Common Core State Standards. Mike has deep experience in test design and development in his former role leading major assessment projects with the American Institutes for Research. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Historic Preservation from Mary Washington College, a master’s degree in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Virginia, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Education Psychology from George Mason University.
Sabrina Chan is the Finance Manager for Student Achievement Partners. Sabrina joined the organization in 2013 with over 5 years of public accounting experience specializing in the non-profit and government accounting industry. She worked as a Senior Auditor from Marks Paneth & Shron, LLP. Sabrina holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in Accounting from Pace University.
Beth Cocuzza is the Director of the Mathematics Team at Student Achievement Partners, leading math initiatives and consulting with various districts and schools on Common Core State Standards implementation. Beth has 16 years of experience teaching mathematics in the New Jersey public schools at the middle and high school level as well as supervisory experience in grades K-8. Beth led the development of mathematics content for The Grow Network and collaborated with the authors of the Common Core State Standards to research math standards and college and career readiness. Beth holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and a master's degree in Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Colleen Dietrich provides finance support for Student Achievement Partners. She joined the organization in October 2011. Colleen has over 20 years’ experience in administration and finance. She has worked at Bear Stearns Security, American Portfolios and Sunrise Contracting in roles in both finance and administration.
Jessica Eadie is a Managing Partner of Student Achievement Partners. Jessica joined Student Achievement Partners in 2011 from the New York City Department of Education where she was the Executive Director of Assessment. Jessica holds a bachelor’s from Boston College and a master’s in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Rachel Etienne is a member of the Literacy and English Language Arts team at Student Achievement Partners. Rachel consults with various districts, states, and organizations on Common Core State Standards implementation. Rachel has 13 years of experience in literacy education as an elementary classroom teacher and as a literacy coach for several nationally recognized charter schools, the NYC Department of Education, and the Archdiocese of New York. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in Science Education from Eastern Michigan University.
Joanie Funderburk @JoanieFun
Joanie Funderburk is a member of the Field Impact Team. Joanie brings over 25 years of experience as a math educator, including six years as the secondary math coordinator for the Cherry Creek School District, where she supported over 250 middle and high school math teachers in implementing the Common Core State Standards. Her 19 years of classroom experience include teaching high school math in both Colorado and New Jersey, and teaching pre-service and in-service math teachers at the university level. Joanie has served on the board of the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is currently President-Elect. She received her bachelor's degree in Mathematics and her master's degree in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Colorado.
Nancy Gannon is the Director of State and District Instructional Materials for Student Achievement Partners. Nancy’s work in education has spanned 25 years, starting as a Peace Corps TEFL teacher in rural Thailand. She taught middle and high school students in Baltimore and New York City, served as a literacy coach in Newark and New York City, and became the principal of a 6-12 school she founded in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Most recently, she served as Executive Director for Academic Quality in New York City, where she led the quest to select Common Core-aligned Core Curriculum for K-8 math and ELA, as well as guided the department’s response to the assessments needed for Measures of Student Learning. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Literature from Williams College, as well as masters’ degrees in Teaching from Towson University and Educational Leadership from Baruch College.
Lisa Goldschmidt is the Director of the Student Achievement Partners Digital team, which builds free, powerful digital tools which help educators align practice with the Common Core State Standards. Before joining Student Achievement Partners, Lisa was the Executive Director of Assessment Technology at the New York City Department of Education. Lisa also worked at Kaplan K12 Learning Services in both operations and marketing roles. Lisa holds a bachelor’s from Brown University and a master’s in public administration with a focus in education policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Marni Greenstein is a Curriculum and Professional Development Specialist on the Mathematics team at Student Achievement Partners. Marni taught elementary school in Washington DC before teaching middle school and serving as a Math Coach in New York. Most recently, she was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for a network of K-8 charter schools in Brooklyn. Marni holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree from the Mathematics Leadership program at Bank Street College of Education.
Laura Hansen supports Student Achievement Partner’s literacy and assessment initiatives. Laura joined Student Achievement Partners after having served as Executive Director at ETS, where she was directly involved with many state testing programs. Prior to working in the testing industry, Laura was a classroom teacher in Texas for nine years, emphasizing reading strategies and best practices in her classroom. While in the classroom, Laura also worked as a scorer for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Lifetime Teacher Certificate with Reading Specialization for the state of Texas.
Celeste Hogan is the Chief Financial Officer of Student Achievement Partners. She is a licensed CPA and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the McCallum Graduate School of Business. Celeste has over 20 years of experience in a wide variety of financial roles and industries. She most recently worked as Vice President of Finance, providing strategic operational and financial support to The Achievement Network.
Gail Hyland provides executive and office management support for Student Achievement Partners. She has a background in building management, administration and finance and has worked at Sage Realty Corporation, Electronic Data Systems and Sapient Corporation in roles in both human resources and administrative/executive support.
Travis Jones is a member of the Mathematics team at Student Achievement Partners. Travis has 10 years of experience teaching mathematics in grades 6-12 in New York and Massachusetts. Most recently, Travis served as Manager of Mathematics Assessments at The Achievement Network. Travis holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a master’s degree in Education from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven) in Leuven, Belgium, where his research focused on modeling and democracy in the mathematics classroom.
Katie is a Literacy Assessment Specialist for Student Achievement Partners. She began her career as a Teach for America corps member, teaching middle school reading in rural Mississippi. She later moved on to teaching high school English in Illinois. While teaching high school English, her work revising the district's ELA curriculum led to a 24% jump in ACT writing scores across the district. Most recently, Katie worked for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt-Riverside. She started as a Content Development Specialist, working her way up to the role of Supervisor, managing the High School ELA team. She worked on assessments for district and state clients, as well as helped to run the development of assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois.
Silas Kulkarni is the Manager of Teacher Networks and Digital on the Student Achievement Partners Literacy team. Before joining Student Achievement Partners, Silas taught 5th grade and 8th grade in Washington, DC and Harlem, NY, and worked as a teacher coach and professional developer. In the 2010-2011 school year, Silas’ low-income minority students broke the Washington, DC all-time record for 8th grade math scores, scoring 100% proficient or above, with 62% scoring advanced. He has also worked in education research and advocacy. Silas holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.
David Liben is the Senior Content Specialist of the Literacy and English Language Arts team at Student Achievement Partners. David has taught elementary, middle school and high school students in public and private schools, as well as community college and teacher preparation courses, in New York City and Vermont. David still spends as much time as possible in schools with teachers and children. Together with Meredith Liben, David founded two innovative model schools in New York City - New York Prep, a junior high school in East Harlem, and in 1991, the Family Academy - where he served as Principal and lead curriculum designer. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in school administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Meredith Liben @MJLiben
Meredith Liben is the Director of the Literacy and English Language Arts team at Student Achievement Partners. Meredith has taught and administered in a wide range of settings over the past 30 years. She has taught every grade from kindergarten through grad school and has been collaborating with David Liben for the past twenty-eight years in many of these endeavors, including the founding of two innovative model schools in New York City - New York Prep, a junior high school in East Harlem, and in 1991, the Family Academy. Meredith has a bachelor’s degree in Classics and Government from Oberlin College and a master’s degree and advanced work from the University of Massachusetts and City University of New York.
Elizabeth Meier is a member of the Mathematics team at Student Achievement Partners. Elizabeth coordinates the daily work of the team and assists with research and tool development to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. Elizabeth has been an assistant teacher in a 9th grade ELL classroom in New York City and helped develop curriculum for a gap year program, Global Citizen Year, based in San Francisco. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in the Advancement of Public Action from Bennington College, where she researched a diverse set of education reform issues, including early literacy and the transition from high school to higher education.
Tanuka Mukherjee is the Administrative Assistant and Event Coordinator for Student Achievement Partners. She joined Student Achievement Partners after completing her internship in Human Resources and Communications at UN Women. In this role, she gained valuable insight into providing administrative and communications support at the international level. She recently graduated from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York with a master’s degree in Communication and also holds a master’s degree in English from Jadavpur University, India. At the graduate level, she has held multiple positions – Lab Coordinator, Teaching Assistant, and Editor –providing support to both students and faculty.
Susan Pimentel was a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy and is a Founding Partner of Student Achievement Partners. Susan’s efforts have been focused on helping communities, districts and states across the nation work together to advance education reform and champion proven tools for increasing academic rigor. Her work has resulted in the phase-out of student tracking, enriched core curricula, and advances in results-based school accountability programs. Susan also has led several national improvement efforts, including two multi-state adult education reform initiatives under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE), and the development of content for the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence—a rigorous discipline-specific national teacher test. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a law degree from Cornell University. Since 2007, she has served on the National Assessment Governing Board that advises on the nation's report card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). In addition to several articles, Susan is co-author with Denis P. Doyle of the best-selling book and CD-ROM, Raising the Standard: An Eight-Step Action Guide For Schools and Communities.
Anna Schattauer Paillé
Anna Schattauer Paillé joined Student Achievement Partners in 2013 as a member of the Assessment Team. Anna supports the daily work of the Assessment Team, contributing to various projects to support the development of Common Core-aligned assessment. Most recently, Anna worked with the Northside Achievement Zone Promise Neighborhood, a nonprofit dedicated to building a cradle-to-college pipeline of whole family support to close the achievement gap in Minneapolis, MN. Anna holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College where she studied Sociology/Anthropology, Women’s Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies.
Claire Rivero is the Communications Associate for Student Achievement Partners. Claire supports the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards by creating informative and engaging materials, as well as working with partners and the media to spread knowledge about the Common Core. Prior to this position Claire worked in the Communications department of the American Red Cross, creating strategic communications plans and a variety of national communications pieces for partners, donors, and the public. Most recently Claire worked as a literacy teacher in the United Kingdom as part of a pilot program targeting students reading significantly below grade level.
Claire holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Public Policy from Duke University and a master’s degree in Social Policy (with a concentration on Education Policy) from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Catherine Schmidt is a member of the Literacy and English Language Arts team at Student Achievement Partners. Catherine joined Student Achievement Partners from the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada where in 2011 she co-founded the Core Task Project, an innovative grassroots model for Common Core State Standards implementation. Subsequent to teaching elementary grades, Catherine served as a literacy trainer and district implementation specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Pennsylvania State University and teaching certification coursework and master’s degree from Sierra Nevada College.
Amanda Vitello is the Digital Product Manager in the Student Achievement Partners Digital team, which builds free, powerful digital tools which help educators align practice with the Common Core State Standards. Amanda began her career as a community educator and middle school teacher. Prior to joining Student Achievement Partners in 2013, Amanda was the National Director of Implementation for Kaplan K12 Learning Services, supervising large-scale district programs. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree in Educational Counseling from National University.
Max Wagner is the Core Advocate Program Manager at Student Achievement Partners. Prior to joining Student Achievement Partners, Max worked to develop teacher leadership and advocacy in Brooklyn, NY, as an Outreach Director with Educators for Excellence. Before working in the advocacy field, Max taught first, second, and third grade special education in Brooklyn public schools. Max hold a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and a master's degree in Special Education from Fordham University.
Stacy Wetcher is the Project Manager of State and District Instructional Materials at Student Achievement Partners, contributing to various projects that support districts and states in making decisions on Common Core aligned instructional materials. Prior to working at Student Achievement Partners, Stacy worked as a consultant to a number of large urban school districts, primarily focusing on accountability measures in a project management capacity. Stacy holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida.
Gene Wilhoit joined Student Achievement Partners as a Partner in January 2013. Gene served as executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) from 2006 until 2013, having spent his entire professional career serving education at the local, state, and national levels. At CCSSO, Gene spearheaded the states’ collective action to adopt the Common Core State Standards, marshaled a comprehensive restructuring of teacher and leader supports including consensus on preparation reform, stimulated state action to improve data systems and founded the multi-state Innovation Lab Network.
From 1994 to 2006, Gene led two state education agencies, as director of the Arkansas Department of Education and as deputy commissioner and commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education. In those positions, he shepherded finance reform, led equity initiatives, designed and implemented assessment and accountability systems, advanced nationally recognized preschool and technology programs, and reorganized state agencies to focus on service and support. Gene began his career as a social studies teacher in Ohio and Indiana. He served as a program director in the Indiana Department of Education, an administrator in Kanawha County West Virginia, and a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Education before assuming the position of executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) which he held 1986-1993.
Gene holds degrees from Georgetown College and Indiana University. Wilhoit has also studied education administration at the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. He is a member of numerous education organizations, serves on several boards, has served on national and state commissions and has written and spoken on a variety of education issues.
He and his wife, Rebecca Campbell Wilhoit, have three children, Christopher, Kara, and Jason.
Jason Zimba was a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and is a Founding Partner of Student Achievement Partners. He holds a B.A. from Williams College with a double major in mathematics and astrophysics; an M.Sc. by research in mathematics from the University of Oxford; and a Ph.D. in mathematical physics from the University of California at Berkeley. As a researcher, Dr. Zimba’s work spanned a range of fields, including astronomy, astrophysics theoretical physics, philosophy of science, and pure mathematics. His academic awards include a Rhodes scholarship and a Majorana Prize for theoretical physics. Jason is also the author of Force and Motion: An Illustrated Guide to Newton’s Laws. As an educator, he has taught physics, mathematics, and other subjects to college students, university physics and engineering majors, adult prison inmates, children of non-English speaking immigrants, and disadvantaged high school students.
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