Rizzo Appointed to SREB Middle Grades Commission

November 17, 2010

Hunt Institute Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Judith Rizzo, has been appointed by North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue to serve on the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Middle Grades Commission. The new Commission is an initiative to help improve all students’ college and career readiness in the region and the nation.

Dr. Rizzo, a well-known expert in education reform, began her career as a junior high school teacher in the Boston Public Schools. Prior to joining the Hunt Institute, she served as deputy chancellor for instruction for New York City Public Schools. There, she implemented well-respected reforms including the creation of the Chancellor’s District to provide direct oversight of the city’s lowest-performing elementary, middle, and high schools. Under her leadership, the Extended Time School (ETS) model and the Early Childhood Language Assessment System (ECLAS) were designed and implemented. She also initiated the reform of NYC’s special education program and introduced the Performance Assessment of Schools System-wide (PASS), a program designed to guide the development of school-based comprehensive planning and accountability. Dr. Rizzo serves on several boards and commissions, and was also recently named to Governor Perdue’s new Education Transformation Commission which oversees the state’s use of Race to the Top funds.

The Middle Grades Commission, chaired by Governor Perdue, supports her goal to increase college and career readiness by ensuring more middle grade students leave the eighth grade prepared for rigorous high school studies. Many students leave the middle grades unprepared to do well in high school studies, and by the ninth grade they have fallen behind and are on the pathway to becoming high school dropouts.

Dr. Rizzo will attend the first meeting of the Commission in December, where consultants will present their perspectives on the issues concerning middle grades and Commission members will outline the action plan needed to help students improve their quality of learning for high school.

To learn more about the SREB, visit www.sreb.org.

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