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Columbia Spectator Staff

Teachers College President Susan Fuhrman will begin her tenure as president of the National Academy of Education in October 2009, while continuing her service at TC.

Founded in 1965, NAEd is a body of education experts regularly consulted by public school systems. It also generates research on the quality of education and offers postdoctoral fellowships. Fuhrman is currently a board member and secretary-treasurer for the Academy.

In a press release, Dr. Howard Gardner, Hobbs professor of cognition and education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Jacob K. Javits visiting professor at New York University, said that NAEd's recent move to Washington, D.C. positioned it to maximize its influence.

"Following the distinguished presidency of Lorrie Shepard, Susan Fuhrman is the ideal person to lead the organization going forward," Gardner wrote. "The Academy and all those interested in education will be well served by her wide leadership experience, her shrewd sense of timely issues, and her admirable qualities of temperament and judgment."

NAEd is currently working with the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and other scholarly bodies to disseminate research and expertise on education to U.S. policy makers in the next president's administration. The initiative includes working groups on teaching quality, literacy, math and science education, and educational equity.

In the press release, Fuhrman praised the leadership of Lorrie Shepard, current NAEd president and dean of the University of Colorado's education school.

"With her deep understanding of educational research and policy issues, Lorrie Shepard has brought outstanding strategic leadership to NAEd," Fuhrman said. "She has transformed the organization, greatly expanding its scope and influence."

After working as dean of the University of Pennsylvania's education school, Fuhrman faced the media's spotlight as she led TC through a spate of hate crimes. More notably, she has presided over the school throughout the termination—and ongoing subsequent appeal—of Madonna Constantine, a professor of psychology and education who had a noose placed on her office door before allegations of plagiarism came to light in February 2008.

TC and the education world know Fuhrman for her expertise in international education. She often speaks abroad, and has forged connections between TC and universities in the Dominican Republic, India, Iceland, and Jordan, whose queen she sat next to at the Sept. 11 ServiceNation presidential candidates forum last month. This year, Fuhrman initiated an $8 million grant-sponsored partnership between TC and public schools in Harlem.

Fuhrman is also the founding director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, the first federally-sponsored educational policy body.

Fuhrman will likely make headlines once again on Oct. 21, when she will moderate a debate on education between advisers to presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. The debate will take place at TC and will pit Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Graham Keegan, standing in for McCain, against Stanford University professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who will represent Obama.

Teachers College National Academy of Education Susan Fuhrman
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