Jan 6, 2016 by



Michael F. Shaughnessy and Delia Stafford

For ten years now, www.EducationViews.org has been recognizing some outstanding individuals in the field of education. Some have been scholars, others researchers, others bloggers, and still other teachers. The individuals below consistently have impacted directly or indirectly the field of education, and as is often said, they continue to “ fight the good fight”.

  1. Kevin Donnelly of Australia is our first winner for his ongoing writings, his on going work, and his on going contributions to education in Australia. His bio follows :

Dr. Kevin Donnelly (BA, Dip Ed, MEd, PhD)

Dr. Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and is one of Australia’s leading curriculum experts and education authors and commentators. Post-graduate qualifications centre on analysing and evaluating various approaches to developing and implementing school curriculum.

Dr. Donnelly specialises in analysing and benchmarking primary and secondary school curriculum within an international context and has carried out four significant benchmarking projects. These include projects commissioned by Australian state and Commonwealth governments as well as the New Zealand Business Roundtable.

Such are Dr. Donnelly’s qualifications, experience and expertise that he was recently appointed by the Commonwealth Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne, to co-chair a review of the Australian National Curriculum.

Central to Dr. Donnelly’s work is developing and refining a methodology to identify the characteristics of best-practice curriculum as implemented by leading education systems as measured by results in international tests such as TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA.

In addition to the above Dr. Donnelly taught for 18 years in Victorian government and non-government secondary schools. During that time he was a member of state and national curriculum bodies, including the Victorian Board of Studies, the Year 12 English Panel of Examiners, the Commonwealth funded Discovering Democracy Programme and the Inquiry into the Australian Certificate of Education.

Kevin continues to fight for integrity, common sense and reasonableness in the realm of education. His impact on education has been immense.

  1. Robert Pondiscio has worn many hands and helped many schools and school districts and individuals over the years. I consider him a colleague, a scholar, and a friend that I can turn to for guidance, advice and insight. His work stands for itself. His bio follows :

Robert Pondiscio is senior fellow and vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is also a senior advisor to Democracy Prep Public Schools, a network of high-performing charter schools based in Harlem, New York. He writes and speaks extensively on education and education-reform issues, with an emphasis on literacy, curriculum, teaching, and urban education. After twenty years in journalism, including senior positions at TIME and BusinessWeek, Robert became a fifth-grade teacher at a struggling South Bronx public school in 2002. He subsequently served as vice president for the Core Knowledge Foundation. Robert’s articles and op-ed columns on education have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the New York Daily News, Education Next, and many other publications. A frequent speaker and expert guest on education issues, he has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, and elsewhere.

  1. George Leef has continually written about the harm and damage that the government can cause higher education in specific. His columns are insightful, provocative and a breath of fresh air in a relatively stagnant environment. His current concerns contain free speech issues on the college and university campus as well as in general. His bio follows :

George Leef is director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Carroll College (Waukesha, WI) and a juris doctor from Duke University School of Law. He was a vice president of the John Locke Foundation until the Pope Center became independent in 2003.

Prior to joining the Locke Foundation, Leef was president of Patrick Henry Associates, a consulting firm in Michigan dedicated to assisting others in advocating free markets, minimal government, private property, and individual rights. Previously, Leef was on the faculty of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, where he taught courses in economics, business law, and logic. He has also worked as a policy adviser in the Michigan Senate.

A regular columnist for Forbes.com, Leef was book review editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, from 1996 to 2012. He has published numerous articles in The Freeman, Reason, The Free Market, Cato Journal, The Detroit News, Independent Review, and Regulation. He writes regularly for the National Review’s Phi Beta Cons blog and for SeethruEdu.com.

  1. Monty Neill, Bob Schaeffer, Lisa Guisbond and David Mirabella share an award for their work against standardized testing and their work to ensure fair, valid , reliable assessment of children. A brief bio of each follows :

Monty Neill, Ed.D

Monty Neill, Ed.D., Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), has led FairTest’s work on testing in the public schools since 1987. He has initiated national and state coalitions of education, civil rights, religious, disability and parent organizations to work toward fundamental change in the assessment of students and in accountability. He chairs the national Forum on Educational Accountability. Under his leadership, FairTest has collaborated on testing reform efforts with organizations in many states. Among dozens of publications, he is lead author of Failing Our Children; Implementing Performance Assessments: A Guide to Classroom School and System Reform; and Testing Our Children: A Report Card on State Assessment Systems. He led the National Forum on Assessment in developing Principles and Indicators for Student Assessment Systems. He earned a Doctorate at Harvard University with his dissertation The Struggle of Boston’s Black Community for Quality and Equality in Education: 1960-1985. He has taught and been an administrator in pre-school, high school and college, and he is a grandfather of three children in the public schools.

Robert Schaeffer

Robert A. (Bob) Schaeffer has served as Public Education Director of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, since its founding in 1985, and is a member of its Board of Directors. Previously, he was Editorial Writer at the NBC-TV affiliate in Boston, Research Director of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Human Services and Elderly Affairs, and worked for several years as a research associate at the Education Research Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was both an undergraduate and graduate student. He is author of Standardized Tests and Teacher Competence (School Voices, Fall, 1996) and coauthor of Standing Up to the SAT (ARCO/Simon & Schuster, 1989). He has also coauthored many FairTest publications, including Testing Our Children: A Report Card on State Assessment Systems, Standardized Tests and Our Children: A Guide to Testing Reform, Implementing Performance Assessments, The SAT Coaching Cover-Up, Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit, and Sex Bias in College Admissions Tests: How Women Lose Out.

Lisa Guisbond

Lisa Guisbond is Assessment Reform Analyst at the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) in Cambridge, MA. After many years as a writer and editor, Lisa Guisbond became interested in education policy as a public school parent with an interest in special education. She is Vice President of Citizens for Public Schools and is the principal author of NCLB’s Lost Decade for Educational Progress: What Can We Learn from this Policy Failure? and the Campaign for the Education of the Whole Child. She co-authored Failing Our Children: How ‘No Child Left Behind’ Undermines Quality and Equity in Education. Her writing on education and assessment has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Education Week, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, USA Today and The New York Times. She served on the MCAS and Assessment subcommittee of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Readiness Project.

David Mirabella

David Mirabella works as the Office Manager and Program Associate at FairTest. David has been with FairTest since the year 2000. He also maintains FairTest’s web site, design and desktop publishing needs, as well as day to day office operations.

The work of these individuals in terms of responding to the relentless push towards

Standardized testing needs to be acknowledged and recognized.

  1. Michael Petrilli’s work with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute is well known. He continually heads up a number of events that microscopically examine some of the crucial salient issues in education today.

Mike Petrilli is an award-winning writer and president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, one of the country’s leading education-policy think tanks. He is the author of The Diverse Schools Dilemma: A Parent’s Guide to Socioeconomically Mixed Public Schools, and co-editor of Knowledge at the Core: Don Hirsch, Core Knowledge, and the Future of the Common Core. Petrilli is also a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and executive editor of Education Next. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg View, Slate, and Wall Street Journal and has been a guest on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and Fox, as well as several National Public Radio programs, including All Things Considered, On Point, and the Diane Rehm Show. Petrilli helped to create the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, the Policy Innovators in Education Network, and, long, long ago, the Young Education Professionals. He lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.

  1. Peter Greene writes a blog entitled “CURMUDGUCATION“ in which he translated political speak into understandable English. In doing so, he prompts individuals to think critically about what the President and Arne Duncan and others of their ilk are really saying. Increasingly, people are becoming more and more aware of the fact that we are being lied to by politicians and that those people in Washington are simply mostly concerned with their being re-elected. Check out his latest below :


Peter is an example of a citizen who is concerned about America and is disgusted with the political double speak that comes out of the mouths of politicians. He is a true Upton Sinclair award winner!

After 50 years of research by Dr. Martin Haberman, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (1932-2012) the Haberman Educational Foundation’s national trainers have worked tirelessly to ensure his legacy remains in the forefront in an effort to save the children and youth of America. The following Upton Sinclair Award Winners for 2015 have been selected by Delia Stafford, co-author of the Upton Sinclair Awards. Each of the Haberman national trainers named here are being recognized for their major efforts in continuing the work of Dr. Martin Haberman. They make time to keep Dr. Haberman’s legacy alive and well, while also working full-time positions in education. Each one has a story to share.

Jennifer Waddell, PhD

I have spent my career dedicated to serving children in urban areas through the identification and development of exemplary teachers for urban schools. I currently serve as the Associate Director of the Institute for Urban Education at the University of Missouri Kansas City. In this role I work collaboratively with Kansas City urban districts and the community to prepare educators who are committed to social justice and educational equity. I now serve as the Principal Investigator and primary author on an $8.36 Million Teacher Quality Partnership Grant from the US Department of Education designed to reform the ways in which universities and school districts prepare and develop new and existing teachers in urban schools. I teach courses in diversity, working with communities and families, effective instruction and teacher leadership. I also work as a leadership and instructional consultant with schools and districts. Nationally, I have presented my efforts around teacher preparation and educational equity in a variety of forums, including a session at the US Department of Education on preparing culturally competent teachers. I have administered the Haberman Teacher Selection and/or Administrator Selection Interview over 400 times, utilizing the instrument in my work with schools as well as in the selection of pre-service teachers. I am a certified National Trainer for the Haberman Educational Foundation, assisting school districts in identifying “Star Teachers and Principals” for urban schools. I received my interdisciplinary PhD from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Gus Jacob

Throughout his 35 years in education Gus Jacob has had a relentless focus on school improvement focusing on quality instruction through professional development and strong leadership. He currently teaches educational leadership at the University of Missouri Kansas City and works as a leadership consultant with schools, districts, and states. His work in the Kansas City area and in the Midwest includes providing leadership training and leadership mentoring to several school districts. He is former director of the Missouri Education Policy Fellows Program in collaboration with the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington,

D.C. Additionally, Gus has 16 years of experience as an elementary and middle school principal as well as serving in the role of Director of Professional Development for the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. He was selected principal of one of the 12 original Basic Schools in the nation working closely with Dr. Ernest Boyer. He is a certified trainer for the Haberman Educational Foundation focused on identifying “Star Teachers and Principals” for urban schools. Gus received his doctorate from the University of Kansas.

Michael Harris, Director of Schools Clarksville-Montgomery County School System

Clarksville, Tennessee Bachelor’s and Masters at Middle Tennessee State University

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Mr. Harris served twenty-one years as a teacher, principal and assistant director in Williamson County Schools, Franklin, Tennessee. He was Superintendent of the Sioux Center Community Schools in Sioux Center, Iowa, and Associate Superintendent for Human Resources in Guilford County Schools, Greensboro, North Carolina, and August 2006 became the Director of Schools in CMCSS. During his tenure in Clarksville, the school district’s graduation rate has improved from 76% to 91%. The dropout rate has been reduced 73% in three years. Measures of achievement have steadily risen in several

areas and the achievement gap has significantly closed in literacy. Five new schools were opened on time and under budget. A new Middle College High School on the campus of Austin Peay State University and a new STEM academy have been created as places for high school students to personalize their learning. “Key to our success in CMCSS and in Guilford County is quality selection. We have used Dr. Haberman’s research and instruments as part of our school improvement efforts, especially in studying potential school leaders here in Clarksville. The results have been higher quality educational professionals and better student results.”

Lynn Wade

Principal – Florida College Academy

Adjunct Professor – College of Education – Florida College

Consultant -trainer with the school administrators for the School District of Hillsborough County Consultant – Anchin Center – USF

AA from Florida College. Elementary Ed. and Masters in Administration, University of South Florida

I have trained school administrators since 2001. During that time, I have witnessed principals who have carefully used the Haberman model for interviewing. I frequently inquire on how the teachers who have been hired using the Haberman approach are doing. Without exception I am told, “When I use the interview model, I only hire STARS. When I stray, I pay for it”.

I recently, was conducting a principal interview in a school that had experienced serious challenges and very little success. We were seeking to find out the “Best Practices” for the obvious change in overall student achievement, student attendance and the drastic decrease in student referrals. The principal smiled and pulled out her Haberman interview notebook. Her explanation had to do with hiring the right teachers which changed the mindset and culture of her faculty. She stated, I use the Haberman interview model and have only hired STARS by following it.

I use the Haberman model when interviewing and it works every time. It is one of the greatest tools a principal can use to bring about change and decrease costly mistakes.

Nicholas D. Hartlep:

Nicholas D. Hartlep is an Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations at Illinois State University. He is Series Editor of the “Urban Education Studies” book series with Information Age Publishing. Dr. Hartlep’s research focuses broadly on issues of equity, including the model minority stereotype of Asians. He is author of The Model Minority Stereotype: Demystifying Asian American Success (2013), editor of The Model Stereotype Reader: Critical and Challenging Readings for the 21st Century (2014), and co-editor of Unhooking from Whiteness: The Key to Dismantling Racism in the United States (2013). Dr. Hartlep created the Model Minority Stereotype Project (MMSP), which is an on-line model minority stereotype bibliography of over 500 writings: http://my.ilstu.edu/blogs/ndhartl/ He is a national trainer for the Haberman Educational Foundation.

Alan Hooker

Educator, Motivator, Entrepreneur, Alan has served the field of Education for more than 25 years in various capacities from teacher, college administrator to human resource professional.

Currently he serves as the Executive Director of Veritas Sports Academy, an educational concierge organization that assist high school and college athletes who fail short on the meeting the requirements to pursue higher education. His work at VSA includes developing programs that will foster success from the field of play to the classroom, boardroom and workplace. He also identifies and provide training to educational leaders to carry out the Academy’s mission.

Alan is also the former Director of Employment for the third largest school district in the state of North Carolina where he spent 8 years recruiting and hiring the best teachers nationwide and abroad to achieve “zero” vacancies for the first day of school.

Alan is also the president of Alan Hooker Consultants where he crafts presentations, coaching sessions and training seminars that are guaranteed to strengthen and intensify performance in life, family and work. He is also a certified trainer for the Haberman Foundation, where he utilizes these skills and experiences to help fellow educators identify star teachers and administrators. Alan received his undergraduate and masters at North Carolina A&T State University.

Previous Upton Sinclair Award Winners:

2005: Gerald Bracey, Nicholas Colangelo, Elaine Garan, Martin Haberman, Jonathan Kozol, Peter and Pam Wright, Reid Lyon;

2006: John Stossel, Jan and Bob Davidson, Peyton Wolcott, Fred Baughman, M.D., Will Fitzhugh, Joel Turtel, Bernard Gassaway, Ned Davis, Her Highness Sheikah Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, “All the Children of the World”;

2007: Sean Hannity, Don Meyer, Ron Clark, Frank Wang, Harry and Rosemary Wong, Tracey McGrady, Dr. Eldo W. Bergman, Queen Rania of Jordan, Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, Ph.D., G. Gbaanador, MD, FACS, FICS, Bill Cecil,  Here’s to the Upton School Principals of America;

2008: Harold V. House, Kathleen Chamberlain, Dee Alpert, Kevin Donnelly, Dona Matthews, Ph.D., Aisha Ussery, Collin Hannaford, Andrew Rotherham, Jim Zellmer., JoAnn Collins;

2009: E.D. Hirsch, Jay Mathews, John Goodlad, Billy Reagan, Geoffrey Canada, Frerick Hess Jay Hartling;

2010: Tom Watkins, Marlena Vaughn, Susan Ohanian, Dr. Marion Blank, Neal McCluskey, Ernest Boyer (Posthumously), Mr. Pierre Fignole, Chris Woodhead, Diane Ravitch, Ph.D.

2011: C. M. Rubin, Tavis Smiley, Joe Nathan, Ann Thompson, James Webb, Kiernan Egan, Professor Hani Q. Khoury

2012: Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, CT , individuals, who gave their lives for their pupils and in the service of education individuals, who gave their lives for their pupils and in the service of education. First responders for their courage and on-going assistance in the little town where Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, CT , took a worldwide human race to its knees. Bless Be the Tie That Binds Our Hearts.

2013: Donna Garner, William Korach, Alan Singer, Bror Saxberg, Rick Hess, Paul Horton, Antoinette Tuff, Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D., Dr. Valerie Hill-Jackson

2014: Terry Grier, Paul E. Peterson, First Lady Barbara Bush, Yong Zhao, Christopher Arnold and Tracey Baker, Karen Nave, James Webb, Alice Linahan, Robert Nasson

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