Biographies of Panelists

Bruce Baker is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, previously a professor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS and has teaching experience at the Fieldston School. Professor Baker has written a multitude of research articles on state school finance policy, teacher labor markets, school leadership labor markets and higher education finance and policy, and coauthored several books and chapters on school finance. He has advised state legislatures, boards of education and other organizations on education policy and school finance issues and has testified in state school finance litigation in Kansas, Missouri and Arizona. He is a member of the Think Tank Review Panel, a group of academic researchers who conduct technical reviews of publicly released think tank reports on education policy issues.

Leonie Haimson is the Executive Director of Class Size Matters, a non-profit advocacy group working for smaller class sizes in NYC and the nation as a whole. In 2011, she co-founded Parents Across America, a grassroots group, with chapters and affiliates across the country, that opposes the current focus on privatization and high stakes testing, and supports progressive positive and proven education reforms, like reducing class size, providing equitable funding, increasing parental involvement, and offering a well-rounded curriculum. She is a graduate of Harvard University, worked at the Educational Priorities Panel, and founded Class Size Matters in 2000. She regularly speaks before parent, advocacy, and government groups, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and on many local NYC TV news stations, as well as NPR local and national radio shows.  She writes for several blogs, including NYC Public School Parents, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet, and her articles and opinion pieces have been published in Education Week, The New York Times, The Daily News, Inside Schools, Gotham Gazette and elsewhere. In 2009, she was named as one of NYC’s family heroes by NYC Family Magazine and was recently cited as the third most influential “tweeter” in the nation on educational policy, after Education Week and Diane Ravitch.

Michael V. McGill has served as superintendent of the Scarsdale (NY) Public Schools since 1998. He was previously a superintendent or headmaster in public and independent schools in urban, suburban and semi-rural communities. During the 1970's, he headed a federal anti-poverty/education program in New Hampshire. He has written extensively on education, most recently co-authoring a chapter in Transforming Undergraduate Education, (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011) in which he discusses how corporate-style reform and high-stakes testing affect high school students' preparation for college.

Maggie Moroff is the Special Education Policy Coordinator at Advocates for Children of New York, a not-for-profit organization that works on behalf of children at risk for school-based discrimination and/or academic failure, and the Coordinator of the ARISE Coalition, a group of organizations and individuals who have come together to push for systemic reform to improve day-to-day experiences and long-term outcomes for students with disabilities in the New York City public schools. Prior to her current efforts, Maggie worked in schools, government agencies, and legal services organizations on education and justice related issues. Maggie holds a B.A. from Connecticut College, a J.D. from New York University’s School of Law, and an M.S. from Bank Street College of Education. She was also recently presented with a 2012 Bank Street alumni award for her outstanding service to children and families.

Terry OrrMargaret Terry Orr (PhD, Columbia) is a faculty member of Bank Street College of Education and directs its Future School Leaders Academy, a two-year school and district leadership preparation program in partnership with 30+ suburban and small city districts. She has been a professor of leadership preparation for over 20 years, preparing school and district leaders, and developing several preparation and post-preparation programs for aspiring leaders and superintendents. She conducted numerous regional and national studies over the last 30 years on leadership preparation approaches and school and district reform initiatives, and published numerous books and articles on leadership preparation and its impact, including (with Linda Darling-Hammond and others) Preparing principals for a changing world: Lessons from effective school leadership programs (Jossey-Bass, 2009).

Liz Phillips spent 13 years as an editor of books for children and young adults before deciding to become a teacher. She received her MS in Education from Bank Street College of Education. Liz has been at P.S. 321 in Brooklyn for the past 26 years, first as a first grade teacher, then as the Early Childhood Coordinator, and for the past 13 years as principal. She has served as a mentor to Aspiring Principals through the New York City Leadership Academy since its inception and has taught sections on Literacy Leadership at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project summer institutes. Liz has written statements and letters opposing both the Teacher Data Reports and the New York State APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) legislation that have been published widely online.

Cora Sangree is a two-time graduate of Bank Street College. She has a masters in education, and is certified as a reading specialist. Cora has been working for the New York City Department of Education for over 20 years. She taught at PS 87 for 11 years, then spent 4 years working as a literacy coach and reading intervention teacher for District 15. She currently teaches 5th grade at The Brooklyn New School.