Member Since 2012

Nelson Smith

Nelson Smith is a consultant on education policy and public charter schooling. From 2004 to 2011 he was President and CEO and then Senior Advisor to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Previously, he served as Vice President for Policy and Governance at New American Schools; as Executive Director of the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board; and as Vice President for Education and Workforce Development at the New York City Partnership. From 1985 to 1992, at the U.S. Department of Education, he oversaw numerous programs devoted to improving education through research-based methods. Currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Mr. Smith was given a Career Achievement Award from New Schools Venture Fund in 2010, recognizing his quarter-century of leadership in education reform. A graduate of Georgetown University, he lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Published Articles & Media

Authorizing Matters

Within the charter authorizing community there is robust debate about how to do what’s needed while promoting continued growth and protecting charter autonomy.

Should Reformers Support Education Savings Accounts?

Education Next talks with Matthew Ladner and Nelson Smith

Expand Choice, but Keep the Public Interest in Mind

Should Reformers Support Education Savings Accounts?

Turnaround School Districts

States try managing lowest-performing schools

A Smarter Charter: A Response to Kahlenberg and Potter

I salute the authors for their extensive reporting on how charters are solving some of the toughest problems on their plate. But in order to justify their proposed remedies, they portray chartering as a nearly-terminal case, rather than as a robust movement.

Criticizing Charter Schools for Lacking Diversity and Unions Misses the Point

A review of A Smarter Charter by Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter

Whose School Buildings Are They, Anyway?

Making public school facilities available to charters

Charters as a Solution?

So far, states and districts have opted for anything but

The NCLB Restruct-a-tron

Does the law’s great big machine for overhauling schools produce anything worthwhile?

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