The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) today announced Robin Lake as the new director. After nearly 19 years as the head of CRPE, founder Paul Hill plans to step down from his position to focus more time on research and act as an advisor to the organization.

“Since founding CRPE in 1993, Paul’s ideas have inspired and informed the renewal of urban school systems in major U.S. cities such as New Orleans, Chicago, New York City, Denver, and Boston,” says Lake. “Paul’s intellectual contributions to the field are many, and through his mentorships of researchers and practitioners, they extend well beyond what he has produced directly. His influence on research and policy will be evident for decades. We’re thankful that Paul will continue to work at the Center, prod, and advise.”

“Robin and I have built a staff of people who have become national resources on education policy and finance, state and local improvement strategies, and innovation,” says Hill. “Key researchers and collaborators, Christine Campbell, Mike DeArmond, Betheny Gross, Patrick Murphy, and Marguerite Roza—just returned from leave at the Gates Foundation—will ensure that CRPE remains productive and influential. CRPE is also attracting a growing group of brilliant younger scholars, seasoned research affiliates, and advisors.”

In her letter announcing her new role, Lake says she plans to work with CRPE on three main areas over the next few years:

  • Redesign: How to re-­‐mission school districts and state governments around managing a portfolio of school choices on the basis of performance.
  • Innovation: How to develop, test, and scale-­‐up innovative instructional systems that use new combinations of technology and teacher work.
  • Finance and Productivity: How to use public funding and philanthropy in times of limited resources to achieve high levels of learning and attainment for all children, especially the disadvantaged.

We will explore new possibilities for impact. We’ll place more emphasis on outreach and direct support to state school chiefs, district leaders, and others who are implementing the research and ideas that we’ve been working on for so long,” Lake adds. “Most notably, we’ll expand our work with more than two dozen urban “portfolio management” districts. We’ll help them as they implement bold reforms and grow the next generation of district leaders.”

Hill plans to scale back on his work by 20 percent this year and incrementally over the next few years, but says Lake has carried the burden of her leadership role for quite some time. He plans to maintain an “of council” relationship to continue to advise and help when needed.

“Robin has earned a fine reputation as a scholar, particularly on charter schools and educational innovation. She is known and trusted by sponsors and collaborators. She also knows what CRPE does best and how it can continue making a difference in America’s education policy debate,” says Hill. “In my nearly 45 years of professional work, nothing touches the joy and satisfaction I have felt in building CRPE and watching Robin and many other young researchers grow into positions of leadership.”

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