Project Leadership

Carol Corbett Burris

Carol Corbett Burris

Founding Co-Director

Carol Burris is the Executive Director of the Network for Public Education. She was the principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, NY from 2000-2015. She received her doctorate from Columbia University, and her dissertation, which studied her district’s detracking reform in math, received the 2003 National Association of Secondary Schools’ Principals Middle Level Dissertation of the Year Award. In 2010, she was named Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS), and in 2013, she was named SAANYS New York State High School Principal of the Year. Dr. Burris is the coauthor of Detracking for Excellence and Equity; Opening the Common Core: How to Bring ALL Students to College and Career Readiness (2012, Corwin Press); and On the Same Track: How Schools Can Join the 21st Century Struggle against Resegregation.

Michelle

Michelle Doughty

Graduate Research Assistant

Michelle Doughty is a former high school teacher and current doctoral student in the Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice program at CU Boulder. She is interested in policies that can improve teacher retention.

Hannah Fletcher

Hannah Fletcher

Director of Communications and Alumni Engagement at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education

Hannah Fletcher is Director of Communications and Alumni Engagement at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, a nationally recognized leader in advancing evidence-based policy and practice. She holds an BA in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State University The proud daughter and granddaughter of public school teachers, Hannah believes in supporting teachers as professionals and championing healthy learning environments designed to engage all students.

Kevin Welner

Kevin G. Welner

Project Co-Director

Kevin G. Welner is a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, School of Education, specializing in educational policy and law. He is Director of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC). Welner's present research examines the use and misuse of research in policymaking and explores various issues concerning the intersection between education rights litigation and educational opportunity scholarship. His research has also explored detracking, small-school reform, tuition-tax-credit vouchers, and the change process associated with equity-minded reform efforts – reforms aimed at benefiting those who hold less powerful school and community positions. Welner has received the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Residency and the Post-Doctoral Fellowship awarded by the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation. He has also been recognized by the American Educational Research Association as a Fellow and been given its Early Career Award and Palmer O. Johnson Award (best article). He earned both his J.D. and Ph.D. from UCLA.

Matt

Matt Garcia

Graduate Research Assistant

Matt Garcia is a doctoral student in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a Graduate Research Assistant for the National Education Policy Center working on the Schools of Opportunity Recognition Program. Matt holds a M.P.A. in Public Management and a B.A. in English, both from the University of New Mexico. Prior to graduate school, Matt oversaw private scholarships and internal grants at a community college foundation. His research interests lay at the intersection of social justice, policy, and market-based education reform.

Sarah LaCour

Sarah LaCour

Graduate Research Assistant

Sarah LaCour is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Education at the University of Colorado - Boulder.  She holds a B.A. in Biological Sciences and French from the University of Southern California, a J.D. from Baylor University, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College - Columbia University.  Her research interests lie in school desegregation and policies surrounding parent and student choice.  As a graduate research assistant Sarah has also worked on an evaluation of the effects of Denver's Professional Compensation system on teacher retention and an investigation of the use of student learning objectives in a Southeastern school district.  Sarah draws upon experiences both as a classroom teacher and as a practicing litigator in her approach to policy.

Linda Molner Kelley

Linda Molner Kelley

Project Co-Director

Linda Molner Kelley came to the role of co-director for the Schools of Opportunity project as a former high school teacher and administrator who, after earning her doctorate in Instruction and Curriculum held several leadership and teaching positions at the University of Colorado. It was here that Linda found her niche in the area of program and partnership development, bridging organizational cultures and matching common interests in research-to-practice projects that benefited both the university and public schools.

As Assistant Dean of Teacher Education and Partnerships for the School of Education, Linda directed four teacher education programs and three partnerships connecting the School of Education and six school districts, including a highly successful induction program for novice teachers and another for mid-career teachers tied to their master’s degree coursework. By bringing expert teachers called Clinical Professors to campus who not only mentored these teachers but teamed with School of Education faculty, learning opportunities and outcomes for K-16 students, their teachers and our own CU Boulder faculty were indelibly changed.

In Linda’s role as Director of Outreach and Engagement for the Boulder campus, she and her team supported and coached faculty and their students from across the campus whose research and teaching had relevant applications to diverse communities in Colorado and around the world. In order to back collaborative projects generated by community needs and academic interests, the office funded projects that in many cases leveraged bigger grant applications to agencies such as NSF, resulting in even larger, more impactful projects. She also spearheaded several collaborations in rural Colorado that brought a range of CU faculty members from the sciences and arts together with rural community agencies and school districts to address local issues.

Michelle Renée Valladares

Michelle Renée Valladares

Project Associate Director

Michelle Renée Valladares is Associate Director of the National Education Policy Center. She leads and partners in a series of projects that aim to increase educational opportunities for all students in our nation’s education systems. This includes serving as PI of a Ford Foundation funded project to create a research hub to support the education justice movement, and as a member of the Schools of Opportunity project leadership and the Education Justice Network. Michelle also supports the development and implementation of equitable education policies by conducting original research on indicator systems, parent and family engagement, and education organizing. Michelle has a PhD in education from the University of California, Los Angeles. She serves on the advisory board of the Family Leadership Design Collaborative, and is a member of AERA’s Exemplary Contributions to Practice Engaged Research Award Committee. Prior to joining NEPC, Michelle was Associate Director and Assistant Clinical Professor at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR). At AISR, she led the Time for Equity Indicators Project, which developed and supports the use of a comprehensive set of indicators that measure how expanded time and learning opportunities can transform the lives of students, the structure of schools, and the power of communities. Michelle was a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access and worked as a legislative assistant to then Congressman Tom Udall.

Adam York

Adam York

Project Manager

Adam York is a Research Associate with the National Education Policy Center.  He serves as project manager for the Schools of Opportunity project and contributes to several other NEPC public scholarship projects.  His research includes community research collaboratives, creative civic participation, and mental health and wellness for young people.  He earned his PhD in education and learning sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder.  Prior to NEPC he worked in the nonprofit youth arts sector as a program director and grant writer.  He was also an instructor at University of Colorado Denver, teaching masters level courses in educational foundations and policy, human development, and research methods as well as undergraduate education courses at CU Boulder.  Adam earned a masters in community counseling from Lewis and Clark College, and a bachelors in psychology from Colorado College.