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Jeanne Allen
Jeanne Allen is considered among the nation’s most accomplished and relentless advocates for education reform. She has earned recognition and credibility as a forceful leader and businesswoman and is a compelling and prolific writer and public speaker.

She founded The Center for Education Reform in 1993 and served as its president through 2013. Prior to founding the Center, Jeanne served in prominent roles at the US Department of Education, The Heritage Foundation and on Capitol Hill. Jeanne is now senior fellow, president-emeritus, and a member of CER's Board of Directors. In addition, Jeanne is vice president for business development of HotChalk, a California-based education technology company.

Jeanne serves on the board of Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, DC and Challenge Charter School in Chandler, AZ. She is on the Education Innovation Council of Arizona State University; and an advisor to numerous organizations, including the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Innovation Office, the DC-based Capital E, the Relay Graduate School of Education, and the Education Industry Association, which honored her with its “Friend of Education Award” in 2012. Additional honors include Working Mother's “Most Powerful Moms in Education” and the Black Alliance for Educational Options Champion Award in 2013.

Jeanne has been a frequent commentator in the media, and has appeared on NBC, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News and CNN, as well as NPR and national and local talk radio. A prolific writer, she has published hundreds of articles and commentaries in newspapers and journals. Jeanne is a regular contributor to the National Journal Education Experts forum, and her honesty and linear thinking on issues such as reform, choice for parents, and teacher accountability has made her articles in outlets such as The Huffington Post essential reading. Her book, The School Reform Handbook: How to Improve Your Schools, ignited parent-led efforts for education reform. She is currently working on a book about her experiences in education reform.

Jeanne has been a trusted advisor to presidential administrations, governors, and lawmakers, and continues to provide valuable counsel to policymakers, philanthropists and colleagues in education.

Jeanne is a Dame of Malta, a member of the John Carroll Society, and the National Italian American Federation. Jeanne earned a bachelors degree in political science from Dickinson College, undertook masters’ studies in politics at the Catholic University of America and is currently enrolled in an executive doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania. Jeanne has raised four accomplished children and is married to Dr. Kevin L. Strother.

Entries by Jeanne Allen

Back to School Book Report

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 4:40 PM

It's not often two books come out at roughly the same time that, together, provide a true glimpse at the critical and largely unknown story of how the modern day education reform movement came to be.

The first is inspired by the work of Dr. Wyatt T. Walker, former chief...

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Back to School Book Report

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 1:06 PM

It's not often two books come out at roughly the same time that, together, provide a true glimpse at the critical and largely unknown story of how the modern day education reform movement came to be.

The first is inspired by the work of Dr. Wyatt T. Walker, former chief...

Read Post

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Their Schools

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 9:36 AM

Teacher Appreciation Day, Field Day, spring concerts, sports competitions and awards ceremonies, plays, debates, school applications and testing, testing, testing.

They are all part of that familiar end-of-school-year rhythm, which has started for most and will begin to play out through the year's end, and the hopeful promotion of our...

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Chris Christie: A Vital History Lesson

(1) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 4:28 PM

The public outcry over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's recent travails is a lesson in how to fast become a nation without purpose, driven by drama and innuendo. It also illustrates how little we know about the origins of American democracy and the subsequent responsibility we have as citizens to...

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A Dearth of Statehouse Mavericks

(3) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 6:37 PM

Lack of gutsy governors stagnating real education reform

Millions of children are now fully ensconced in another year at America's schools. Unfortunately for most families, the schools, classrooms, teachers, and school leaders are functioning in much the same manner as they did last year -- and five and ten years...

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Eric Holder's Assault on Educational Freedom Hits Home

(1) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 4:21 PM

Several years ago, after the doctor who delivered my children retired, I was distraught over finding a new OB-GYN. At least half of you can relate: what woman wants to build that kind of relationship with someone all over again, especially after four kids?

But I did my research, and...

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Charting New Frontiers for Charter Schools

(17) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 11:02 AM

As leaders of the charter school movement gather in Washington, D.C. this week for their annual meeting, they do so in a decidedly mixed frame of mind. harles Dickens' famous words in A Tale of Two Cities -- "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times"...

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It Could Have Been My Boy

(1) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 4:46 PM

It could have been my boy, or yours, that lay in the hospital with wounds and federal charges stemming from the horrendous bombing in Boston. I was touched by similar words making their way quickly around the Internet right after the Newtown tragedy about the young man who shot those...

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The State of the Union: A Nation at Risk

(10) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 11:03 AM

In light of this week's State of the Union and a renewed focus on how to fix our educational deficiencies, it's time for us all to engage in a little history lesson. This spring will mark 30 years since "A Nation at Risk" was issued.

And yet, how many...

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Out With the Old, In With the New: Education Reform Cannot Be Compromised

(14) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 5:20 PM

Among many traditions as we close one year and begin a new one are lists of what is "in" and "out." At the end of 2012, compromise was definitely "in." And no wonder. Staring over the precipice of a fiscal cliff, the American people couldn't understand why politicians can't seem...

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Election Night Guide for Education Reform Watchers

(2) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 11:03 AM

Of the many surprises this election season, one surely was the number of times the issue of "education" came up in President Obama and Governor Romney's third debate - a debate ostensibly about foreign policy.

It shouldn't be such a shocker, though. Education issues are vital to our nation's future...

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Polls, Politics and Education

(8) Comments | Posted August 27, 2012 | 7:20 PM

In politics, poll results are often fleeting, but they are paid much attention as a gauge on public attitudes and often influence how a candidate or leader might tackle a particular issue. With convention season here and all eyes on the presidential candidates, anyone interested in education -- and the...

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Charter Schools and Sausage

(11) Comments | Posted April 12, 2012 | 5:40 PM

Many people know the old adage, often attributed to Churchill, that the two things one best not see being made are law and sausage. Indeed when it comes to education policy there is no better truism.

Twenty-one years ago when the states first began enacting charter school laws, the intention...

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Education Reform Is a Vote for the Economy

(29) Comments | Posted March 2, 2012 | 3:17 PM

Super Tuesday is upon us, and voters are likely nearing the selection of a GOP candidate to oppose President Obama in November. As people go to the polls in ten states on Tuesday, what should they be looking at in choosing their candidates?

We hear that the...

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Who Can Wait?

(6) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 4:02 PM

One of several path-breaking movies to hit the mainstream theatres last year, Waiting for Superman educated thousands about the plight of U.S. schools. It conveyed the urgency of the problem, clarified the crisis, and sought to engage a nation. Most who saw it were shocked, and many made a silent...

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An Abbreviated Story of Labor: What Once Was but Is No More

(4) Comments | Posted September 4, 2011 | 10:54 PM

Once upon a time, in this country, early in the last century hoards of Italians, (like me!), Irish, German, Jewish peoples and more descended on this land in search of something better. From the schools to the sweatshops, they took jobs that paid little and demanded much. Haste, greed and...

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Education Poll Disregards Context, Cancels Out Usefulness

(4) Comments | Posted August 18, 2011 | 4:16 PM

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts," said the late great Daniel Patrick Moynihan. And indeed, the PDK/Gallup poll underscores the wisdom offered by the former Senior Senator from New York, no doubt in the larger public policy context of his day.


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Education Reporting in Crisis

(73) Comments | Posted April 2, 2011 | 1:18 PM

"Americans want more coverage of teacher performance and student achievement," says a Brookings Institution report. The public opinion poll which is its underpinning reveals that Americans have an appetite for more information on K-12 issues and in particular, on the issues real education reformers care about the most -- academic...

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37 Chances to Reform U.S. Education

(5) Comments | Posted October 29, 2010 | 7:29 PM

In a few days, voters will make a pilgrimage to their local school, firehouse or library, take up their civic duty and pull a lever (or hang a chad) for their candidates of choice, determining the directional future of the country for the next four years.

More importantly, though less...

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