January 8, 2019 9:11 pm

NPE welcomes four outstanding leaders to our Board

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Network for Public Education President, Diane Ravitch, is proud to announce that four accomplished  leaders and supporters of public education have been elected to three year terms on the NPE Board of Directors.

Lavelle Jones was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey where she attended public schools. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. She is retired from the New Jersey Bar.

Lavelle worked for Colgate-Palmolive Company where she developed the company’s minority and women-owned business program, created global strategies for professional services and led global teams. The National Network Journal listed Lavelle as one of the most influential black women in business. She was also a two-time recipient of the Harlem YMCA Black Achievers in Industry award.

Since her retirement, Lavelle has applied her skills, as a volunteer, in support of her favorite causes: the well-being of older Americans, the education and safety of children and the preservation of wildlife. She joined AARP as a volunteer in 2007 and currently serves as AARP New Jersey State President. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Allen-Shaw Foundation, a private charity devoted to the education of children in the nation of Jamaica. Since 2014, Lavelle has served NPE as the volunteer national conference coordinator.

Denisha Jones is the Director of Teacher Education and an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Trinity Washington University. Dr. Jones began her career in education as a kindergarten teacher in D.C. after earning her Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education from the University of the District of Columbia. She also worked as a preschool director before spending the last 14 years in teacher education.

Determined to be a more effective advocate in the fight against school privatization, she began law school and graduated with her J.D. in May 2018. She has been a board member and administrator for the Badass Teachers Association (BATs), Inc., and currently, she is the interim Assistant Executive Director for BATs; she is chairwoman of the National Advisory Board for the Public Education Defense Fund and she serves on the advisory board of Defending the Early Years.

Her research interests include developing critical consciousness in pre-service teachers, organizing activist research projects that challenge the privatization of public education, and leveraging the intersection of public policy, social movement lawyering, and critical social justice education to dismantle the neoliberal assault on public education.

James Harvey has  served as the executive director of the National Superintendents Roundtable since 2007. The Roundtable, an invitational membership organization, is dedicated to progressive leadership in support of just and humane schools.

A native of Ireland, Harvey attended elementary and secondary schools in Ireland and London and completed his high school education at a public school in Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of dozens of articles and five books on education and education policy. He served in the Carter administration as an education lobbyist and on the staff of the Committee on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

His doctoral work at Seattle University examined both the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and American school performance in an international context and was published by the Roundtable and the Horace Mann League in 2015 and 2018 as The Iceberg Effect and How High the Bar? He serves on the Steering Committee of the Urban Superintendents Academy sponsored by AASA and Howard University and on the board of the Horace Mann League.

Roxana Marachi is Education Chair of the San José / Silicon Valley NAACP and an Associate Professor of Education at San José State University where she teaches courses in Educational Psychology and Educational Leadership. She received her PhD in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan in 2003, where she studied the impacts of learning environments on student motivation and behavior in schools.

Marachi served as co-chair of the Safe Schools and Communities Subcommittee of the American Educational Research Association from 2009-2012, and is currently investigating research-to-practice gaps in the implementation of policies related to high-stakes testing, privatization, and the technologization of teaching and learning.  Marachi was the recipient of the 2015 Justice Award from Californians for Justice and the 2015 Freedom Fighter Award from the San José / Silicon Valley NAACP, and is actively involved in local, state, and national efforts to strengthen and protect public education.

These four outstanding leaders and friends of public schools join Diane Ravitch, Anthony Cody, Phyllis Bush, Yohuru Williams, Leonie Haimson and Julian Vasquez Heilig as members of the Board of Directors of NPE.


The teachers of Los Angeles are poised to strike for better public schools for their city’s children  

It is likely that the teachers of Los Angeles, California represented by UTLA will strike beginning tomorrow. If they do, it will be about more than salaries. Teacher demands include smaller class sizes, as well as more counselors, librarians and nurses in schools. They are demanding funding for community schools and less testing. They are demanding an end to disruptive and humiliating random searches of students in their schools.

You can show your support for the teachers of Los Angeles by wearing red on Thursday, January 10. Take your picture and then post it on social media. The Alliance to Reclaim our Schools, Los Angeles branch (ROSLA), has established a Solidarity Fund. If the teachers do strike tomorrow, you can make a donation here. Funds will be used by ROSLA to raise public awareness and support the strike.