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Andy Smarick

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Andy Smarick
Former Staff

Background: Andy Smarick is a partner in Bellwether’s Policy and Thought Leadership practice, joining the organization in 2012. Andy is a member of the Maryland State Board of Education ​and the author of The Urban School System of the Future. He served as New Jersey’s Deputy Commissioner of Education where he helped lead initiatives including the state’s successful ESEA waiver and Race to the Top 3 applications, the launching of a new teacher evaluation system, and an overhaul of the department’s charter school authorizing. Andy served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education and at The White House Domestic Policy Council and has worked for Congress and the Maryland state legislature. Other roles include Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Adjunct Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and co-founder and COO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Andy also helped launch a college-preparatory charter school for under-served students. He writes regularly for the Flypaper blog and his articles have appeared in the nation’s leading newspapers and journals. He is a former White House Fellow, member of the 2010-11 class of Pahara Fellows, and founding board member of 50CAN. He earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude and with honors, and a master’s degree in public management from the University of Maryland. Andy lives in Maryland with his wife and three kids.

Experience at Bellwether:

  • Authored Closing America’s High-achievement Gap, a guidebook for donors
  • Leading a two-year effort to advance rural education reform
  • Partnered with city-based organizations to study new approaches to inner-city education.
  • Provided research and analysis related to the efficient use of public school facilities
  • Authored a paper for the American Enterprise Institute on what private school choice can learn from chartering

Client segments served: charter schools, private/ parochial systems or schools, foundations, policy organizations, intermediaries

Sample clients: Philanthropy Roundtable, Albertson Foundation, Donnell-Kay Foundation, Kauffman Foundation, Charter School Partners, Philadelphia Schools Partnership, The Mind Trust, Chiefs for Change

Why I do this work: I think it’s tragically unfair that millions of disadvantaged kids don’t have access to great schools. Decades of traditional reform approaches have yielded far too little. Only big, new ideas and bold action will solve this problem.

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