Policy Board

Dianne Johnson
Chair, Past President, Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees
Dianne Johnson is an educational consultant for Sterling Associates. Dianne was elected to the Houston Independent School District Board of Education in 2001 and reelected in 2005. She served as President of the HISD board before retiring from the board in 2010. Her national involvement in education issues has also included serving on the board of directors for The Council of Great City Schools. A native Texan and a product of the public school system, Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas in Austin and a Master’s Degree from the University of Houston. She worked with the UT Ex-Students' Association before launching her teaching career in the Spring Branch Independent School District, where she was the winner of national awards for coaching debate. She also worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Dianne serves on the advisory boards of REEP (Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program), the Legislative K-12 Committee for the Greater Houston Partnership, and the Partners Council for the Collaborative for Children.
Chris Barbic
Senior Education Fellow, The Laura and John Arnold Foundation
Chris is working to advance the portfolio model of school governance in cities across the country in order to increase student achievement. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as the founding superintendent of the Achievement School District (ASD) in Tennessee. In that role, Chris led the development and operations of a statewide school district designed to transform Tennessee’s Priority Schools, those categorized as being in the state’s bottom 5 percent. Under his leadership, the ASD opened and authorized 33 new schools in four years, serving nearly 10,000 students. Chris began his career as a middle school English teacher in the Houston Independent School District, where he was named the district’s Outstanding Young Educator in 1994. After teaching for six years, Chris founded YES Prep Public Schools in 1998 and led the organization for 13 years. YES Prep is a Houston-based charter management organization (CMO) that exists to increase the number of low-income Houstonians who graduate from four-year colleges. It is often recognized as one of the highest-performing CMOs in the nation and, in 2011, received the inaugural Broad Foundation Prize for the Best CMO in the country.
Patricia Bubb
Executive Director, Tech Prep of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc.
Patricia serves as the coordinator of strategic partnerships for RGV Lead, formerly Tech Prep RGV, an organization she has served since 1991. RGV Lead is a partnership between the education and business sectors that prepares students for the workforce. She was formerly the Executive Director of this organization.
Chrys Dougherty
Director of Research, National Center for Education Accountability
Chrys Dougherty is a senior research scientist at ACT Inc. and the National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA). He has written extensively on college readiness, the value of longitudinal student data, and the 10 essential elements of statewide student information systems. After teaching science in an elementary school in Oakland, Calif., Dougherty received his master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and his doctorate in economics from Harvard University. He taught statistics, economics, econometrics and education policy courses at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and authored “Asking the Right Questions about Schools: a Parents’ Guide.” Dougherty joined Just for the Kids, which later became NCEA, in 1997 and became a primary designer of NCEA’s innovative Just for the Kids School Reports.
Maria Hernandez Ferrier
Former President, Texas A&M University- San Antonio
Maria Hernandez Ferrier began her career at A&M-San Antonio in April 2008 as executive director when the university was operating as a system center. The next year, Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 629 designating A&M-San Antonio as a stand-alone institution and on September 28, 2010, Dr. Ferrier was invested as its inaugural president. Under her leadership, the university has experienced unprecedented enrollment growth and continues to add and expand academic programs on the historically underserved South Side of San Antonio. In 2015, Dr. Ferrier took over a newly created division at the A&M System as the Director of Development and Mexico Relations. In this position, she focused on creating, building, and overseeing relations with Mexico for all 11 universities of the A&M System and the 7 System Agencies.

Prior to her career with A&M-San Antonio, she held a number of national education appointments, serving under both Presidents George Bush and President Bill Clinton. She was also appointed to the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessment and Accountability.

Dr. Ferrier has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and she serves on the board of directors for a wide variety of organizations across San Antonio. She accomplished all of this after beginning college at the age of 30. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education from Our Lady of the Lake University, and a Doctorate of Educational Administration from Texas A&M University.
Eric Hanushek
Co-Chair, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution at Stanford University
Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is a leader in the development of economic analysis of educational issues. He has authored numerous, highly cited studies on the effects of class size reduction, high stakes accountability, the assessment of teacher quality, and other education related topics. He introduced the idea of measuring teacher quality through the growth in student achievement that forms the basis for the development of value-added measures for teachers and schools. Most recently, Hanushek shows that the quality of education is closely related to national economic growth. He has authored or edited twenty-three books along with over 200 articles. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and completed his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Rick Hess
Director of Education Research, American Enterprise Institute
An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include “The Cage-Busting Teacher,” “Cage-Busting Leadership,” “Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age,” “The Same Thing Over and Over,” “Education Unbound,” “Common Sense School Reform,” “Revolution at the Margins,” and “Spinning Wheels.” He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, “Rick Hess Straight Up,” and is a regular contributor to The Hill. Hess’s work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets. He has edited widely cited volumes on the Common Core, the role of for-profits in education, education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind. Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review board for the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.
Don McAdams
Executive Director, Center for the Reform of School Systems
Donald R. McAdams is the founder and chairman of the board of the Center for Reform of School Systems. In 2002, he completed 12 years as an elected member of the Houston Independent School District Board of Education, where he served as twice as board president. McAdams has been a research professor at the University of Houston and an independent quality management consultant with national and international clients in manufacturing, mining, travel, financial services, healthcare, and education. Previously, he served as executive vice president of the American Productivity and Quality Center, president of the Texas Independent College Fund, president of Southwestern Adventist College, and professor of history at Andrews University. McAdams received a Ph.D. in British history from Duke University. He is the author of Fighting to Save Our Urban Schools . . . and Winning! Lessons from Houston (Teachers College Press, 2000); What School Boards Can Do: Reform Governance for Urban Schools (Teachers College Press, 2006); and with Dan Katzir, The Redesign of Urban School Systems: Case Studies in District Governance (Harvard Education Press, 2013)
Joseph Murphy
Professor, Vanderbilt University
Associate Dean, Special Projects, Office of the Dean
Professor of Education; Endowed Mayborn Chair, Dept. of Leadership, Policy & Organizations

Joseph Murphy is the Frank W. Mayborn Chair of Education and Associate Dean at Peabody College of Education of Vanderbilt University. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Illinois and The Ohio State University, where he was the William Ray Flesher Professor of Education. His work is in the area of school improvement, with special emphasis on leadership and policy. He has also published 22 books on school improvement and leadership and edited another 12 books. He co-chaired the work that produced the revisions to the ISLLC Standards in 2008 and 2015. Murphy is the co-editor of the AERA Handbook of Research on Education Administration (1999), editor of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) yearbook The Educational Leadership Challenge (2002), and co-editor of the UCEA Handbook of Research on the Education of School Leaders (2009). His most recent authored volumes include: The Educator's Handbook for Understanding and Closing Achievement Gaps (2010), Homelessness Comes to School (2011), Essential Lessons for Leaders (2011), Staying Home: Homeschooling in America (2012), and The Architecture of School Improvement (2013).

In the public schools, he has served as an administrator at the school, district, and state levels. His most recent appointment was as the founding President of the Ohio Principals Leadership Academy. At the university level, he has served as Department Chair and Associate Dean.
Michael Petrilli
President, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Mike Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, executive editor of Education Next, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Education Commission of the States. An award-winning writer, he is the author of The Diverse Schools Dilemma, and editor of Education for Upward Mobility. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg View, and Slate, and appears frequently on television and radio. Petrilli helped to create the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, the Policy Innovators in Education Network, and, long, long ago, Young Education Professionals. He serves on the advisory boards of the Association of American Educators, MDRC, and Texas Aspires. He lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.
Michael Podgursky
Professor, University of Missouri
Dr. Podgursky is Middlebush Professor of Economics and Department Chair at University of Missouri. He has been Department Chair since 1995. Prior to that he was on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1980-1995). He earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Missouri – Columbia (1974) and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison (1980). He has published numerous articles and reports on education policy and teacher quality, and co-authored a book, Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality. His research has been supported by grants from the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Agriculture, and several foundations. He has served as a consultant on school finance litigation to numerous states. He is a member of the American Economic Association and the American Education Finance Association, the board of directors of the National Center for Teacher Quality, and the editorial board of Education Finance and Policy.
Morgan Polikoff
Assistant Professor of Education, University of Southern California
Morgan Polikoff is an associate professor of education at the USC Rossier School of Education. He studies the design, implementation, and effects of standards, assessment, and accountability policies. His current work, funded by the National Science Foundation and WT Grant Foundation, is investigating the adoption and use of mathematics and science textbooks in California, Texas, and three other large states. He is also a co-principal investigator on a five-year center funded by the Institute of Education Sciences for studying the implementation and effects of college and career-readiness standards in states nationwide.
Billy Reagan
Retired Superintendent, Houston Independent School District
Billy Reagan has devoted more than 50 years to improving education. Reagan earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Texas and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska. He served as the Superintendent of HISD for 12 years. During that time, he implemented a basic-skills competency program that led to a district-wide accountability system. He created a Magnet school system as a tool to achieve integration, which became a national model. He also appointed the first female African-American Principal to a secondary school. Reagan is still active in education by conducting research and providing consulting on educational issues.
Marguerite Roza
Research Professor, Georgetown University
Dr. Roza's research focuses on quantitative policy analysis, particularly in the area of education finance. Recent research traces the effects of fiscal policies at the federal, state, and district levels for their implications on resources at school and classroom levels. Her calculations of dollar implications and cost equivalent tradeoffs have prompted changes in education finance policy at all levels in the education system. She’s led projects including the Finance and Productivity Initiative at CRPE and the Schools in Crisis Rapid response Paper Series. More recently she served as Senior Economic Advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her work has been published by Education Sector, the Brookings Institution, Public Budgeting and Finance, Education Next, and the Peabody Journal of Education. Dr. Roza is author of the highly regarded education finance book, Educational Economics: Where Do School Funds Go?
Matthew Springer
Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University
Matthew G. Springer is an assistant professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and director of the National Center on Performance Incentives. Professor Springer’s research interests involve educational policy issues, with a particular focus on the impact of policy on resource allocation decisions and student outcomes. His current research includes studies of the impact of performance-based incentives on student achievement and teacher turnover, mobility, and quality; the impact of educator evaluation systems on educator outcomes; and the strategic resource allocation decision-making of schools in response to school accountability programs. Professor Springer previously served as principal investigator for the Project on Incentives in Teaching (POINT) experiment in Metro Nashville Public Schools (TN), the Team Performance Incentives (TPI) experiment in Round Rock (TX), and Director of Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation, and Development.

He has also served on several advisory committees charged with designing performance-based compensation systems for teachers and/or principals at the state and district level, testified on performance-pay and educator evaluation policies in Florida, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas, and conducted analyses of school finance systems in Alaska, Kentucky, Missouri, and South Carolina.

Professor Springer has published widely in the field of education finance and policy. He is co-author of a leading education finance textbook, Modern Education Finance and Policy (with J.W. Guthrie, R.A. Rolle, and E.A. Houck; Pearson Education), and editor or co-editor of five more books.

Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University, Professor Springer was a teacher and administrator at a boarding school in upstate New York. He holds a B.A. in psychology and education with honors from Denison University and a Ph.D. in education finance and policy from Vanderbilt University.
Lori Taylor
Professor, Texas A&M University
Associate Professor Lori L. Taylor is the director of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy at Texas A&M University. She holds the Verlin and Howard Kruse ’52 Founders Professorship in the Bush School of Government and Public Service and is an adjunct associate professor in Texas A&M’s Department of Economics. She is a member of the Children At Risk Institute and currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the Texas Smart Schools Initiative.

Dr. Taylor holds a BA in economics and a BS in business administration from the University of Kansas, and a master's and PhD in economics from the University of Rochester. Prior to joining the Bush School, Dr. Taylor spent fourteen years as an economist and policy advisor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Dr. Taylor has written extensively on variations in the cost of education and the determinants of school district efficiency. She has served as a consultant on school finance issues for a variety of legislative committees and state and federal agencies. She served as an expert consultant for the Texas Comptroller's Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST), and developed the Comparable Wage Index for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
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