Karen Seashore Louis is the Rodney Wallace Professor of Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Her area of expertise includes improvement in K-12 leadership and policy over the last 30 years, particularly in urban secondary schools. Louis also conducts research on organizational changes within higher education, with particular attention to faculty roles, and on international comparative policy in educational reform. A past president of Division A of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), she is a widely published author in the field. Recent books include Organizing for School Change, Leadership for Change and School Improvement: International Perspectives, Handbook of Educational Administration, Second Edition, and Organizational Learning in Schools. Louis earned a bachelor's degree in History from Swarthmore College and a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University. Shirley M. Hord, PhD, is the scholar laureate of Learning Forward (previously National Staff Development Council), following her retirement as Scholar Emerita at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory in Austin, Texas. There she directed the Strategies for Increasing Student Success Program. She continues to design and coordinate professional development activities related to educational change and improvement, school leadership, and the creation of professional learning communities. Her early roles as elementary school classroom teacher and university science education faculty at The University of Texas at Austin were followed by her appointment as co-director of Research on the Improvement Process at the Research and Development Center for Teacher Education at The University of Texas at Austin. There she administered and conducted research on school improvement and the role of school leaders in school change. She served as a fellow of the National Center for Effective Schools Research and Development and was U.S. representative to the Foundation for the International School Improvement Project, an international effort that develops research, training, and policy initiatives to support local school improvement practices. In addition to working with educators at all levels across the U.S. and Canada, Hord makes presentations and consults in Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Mexico. Her current interests focus on the creation and functioning of educational organizations as learning communities and the role of leaders who serve such organizations. Dr. Hord is the author of numerous articles and books, of which a selection of the most recent are: Implementing Change: Patterns, Principles, and Potholes, 3rd ed (with Gene E. Hall, 2011); Reclaiming Our Teaching Profession: The Power of Educators Learning in Community (with Edward F. Tobia, 2012); A Playbook for Professional Learning: Putting the Standards Into Action (with Stephanie Hirsh, 2012). Valerie von Frank has written extensively about education over several decades as a daily newspaper reporter in multiple states covering public schools and, over the last decade, for NSDC publications, including JSD, Tools for Schools, The Learning System, The Learning Principal, and T3. She is a former editor of JSD, worked as a daily newspaper editor, served as communications director in an urban public school district, and was communications director for a Michigan nonprofit school reform organization. She is co-author with Ann Delehant of Making Meetings Work: How to Get Started, Get Going, and Get It Done (Corwin Press, 2007). She is currently NSDC's book editor and a freelance writer and editor.
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