Counselor & Whiz welcome Lea Crusey, Christopher Ruszkowski, & Jenese Jones. We discuss the college admissions scandal (3:13), school funding & the performance metric challenge (17:33). Then, elevating the profession, teacher pay & strikes (41:02), the role of charter schools, democratizing choice & what should be done next (63:46). This episode was co-produced by Meredith Flowe.
Lea Crusey joins us from Washington, DC where she heads as Founder and CEO of Allies for Educational Equity, a non-partisan, peer funded political action committee. Prior to AEE Lea served in the policy office at the US Department of Education under the Obama Administration following five years working in advocacy, policy, and politics at the state and local levels nationally between StudentsFirst and Democrats for Education Reform. She launched her career as a classroom educator through Teach for America in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lea received a BA from Claremont McKenna College and her Masters Degree in Public Policy from the Harris School at the University of Chicago. She serves on the boards of the Center for Supportive Schools, Silver Bay YMCA of the Adirondacks, and the DC Public Charter School Board. She and her husband have 2 children.
Christopher N. Ruszkowski joins us from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is the former Secretary of Education for the State of New Mexico, where he served under Republican Governor Susana Martinez. Before that, he spent six years working on President Obama's Race To The Top initiative under Democrat Governor Jack Markell in Delaware. He's a member of the bipartisan Chiefs for Change and an Advisory Board Member at Results For America & Harvard's Center For Education Policy Research, and he's currently a Distinguished Policy Fellow at Stanford University. He earned his Masters in Education Policy & Leadership from Stanford, and he attended undergrad at the University of Minnesota on an Evans Scholarship, a privately funded full-tuition college scholarship for students from working-class backgrounds. He began his career in education as a middle school social studies teacher in Miami, FL.
Jenese Jones has been a staunch advocate for educational equality and advocacy for over 16 years. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University with a major in Political Science and minor in Music performance (voice). After a successful 12 years in the classroom, her passion for political service led her to elected office in 2012 in our Nation's Capital as an ANC Commissioner. In 2018, she ran for State Delegate (MD-32) and served as campaign manager for County Councilwoman Sarah Lacey, successfully winning the seat. She co-founded Faith Leaders for Excellent Schools, an education advocacy organization based in Baltimore. Prior to accepting this role, she served as Executive Director of MarylandCAN and was an Education Policy Advisor Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education under former Secretary Arne Duncan. She is a currently working in Anne Arundel County, MD as the Constituent and Community Engagement Officer for the newly elected County Executive. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram.