John Ayers

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Template:TOCnestleft John Ayers

Carnegie appointment

Chicago education advocate and reformer John Ayers was named vice president and treasurer of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Stanford, California, effective November 2. 2009

“John’s administrative and management experience, energy and enthusiasm, combined with his strong sense of ethics and fairness will help immensely as Carnegie embarks on a multi-faceted research and development agenda,” said Carnegie President Anthony S. Bryk. “Carnegie’s new work will bring together a diverse network of practitioners, researchers, social entrepreneurs, policy makers and other stakeholders to map the many dimensions of the most difficult education problems and to identify promising solutions to foster continuous improvement. John’s skills beautifully align with what I and the Foundation need at this time.”

“John Ayers takes on the difficult job at Carnegie that combines two high-level and essential positions, that of vice president and treasurer,” said David Tatel, the current chair of the Carnegie Board. “The Search Committee knew we may have been searching for the impossible candidate, but it turned out not to be the case; we found the perfect person for the position. John has a deep understanding of education issues, is a problem solver, and has enormous experience as a manager and leader. We couldn’t be more pleased with this appointment.”[1]


As a consultant on school reform in Chicago, Ayers launched Union Park High Schools, a school management organization, in 2008 with plans to create four charter high schools in Chicago. He created a "unique partnership" with three labor unions and Johns Hopkins University to launch these high quality schools over six years. He has also worked on crucial national issues in education. He has consulted with National-Louis University on its urban education strategies and helped the university win two large grants from the U.S. Department of Education; the Teacher Quality Partnership grants aim to improve teacher preparation by using residency programs similar to medical residencies. He is also a senior associate at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, which supports quality practices in the organizations that grant and oversee America’s 4,600 charter schools.

As executive director of Leadership for Quality Education (LQE), Ayers led efforts to bring charter schools to Illinois and spent ten years advocating policies and managing programs that improved principal leadership in the city. He also enhanced management, governance and community support for innovative small schools and charter schools. A major force for school reinvention in Chicago, LQE was widely engaged in community efforts to improve schools, including in the late 1990s, when Ayers worked closely with Bryk as he was designing and launching the award-winning Consortium on Chicago School Research.[2]