International Advisory Group

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The mission of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware is to help Delaware build one of the finest systems of public education in the world by 2020. To help achieve this mission, we have convened an advisory group of education experts from around the world. These International Advisory Group members have a deep knowledge of key success factors in other countries with high-performing education systems – at both the structural-level as well as on-the-ground. The members will convene in Delaware on an annual basis and will be engaged in helping our team better support Delaware’s effort to build one the finest systems of public education in the world.

International Advisory Group Members
Joanne Weiss

Joanne Weiss, Chair

Weiss is the former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and director of the federal Race to the Top program. She is an independent consultant to organizations on education programs, technologies, and policy. For the past 15 years, she has focused on driving systems-level education change through high-impact grantmaking, investing, and policymaking. Prior to that, she led companies that pioneered technology-based approaches to solving teaching and learning challenges in K-12 and higher education.

Jim Dueck

Jim Dueck

Dueck began his experience in education as an elementary school teacher in 1970. He later served as a principal, in district administration, and superintendent. In 1998, Dueck joined Alberta Education as Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Student Programs and Evaluation Division.  His primary responsibility was setting the provincial curriculum and evaluating student achievement relative to provincial standards.  A year later, with the creation of Alberta Learning, and following government restructuring to join the K-12 school system with Post Secondary Education, he was appointed to the position of ADM of System Improvement and Reporting.  In this role, he worked with other departments and divisions in government as well as with school jurisdictions and post-secondary institutions to achieve greater levels of accountability for the purpose of achieving improvement. Government restructuring in 2005 re-established Alberta Education and subsequent realignment of responsibilities within the department resulted in Dueck becoming ADM of Accountability and Reporting. Developing and implementing an accountability framework for the system has been one of his major initiatives. Dueck has a Baccalaureate and Masters degrees in education from the University of Calgary, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University.

Ben Jensen

Ben Jensen

Jensen has just assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Learning First. He has previously worked at the Grattan Institute, an independent policy think tank based in Melbourne, Australia. At Grattan, Jensen was the Director of the school education program, leading research reports on teacher development, evaluation and accountability, school competition and autonomy, and education strategy and implementation. Prior to joining Grattan, Ben worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Education Directorate where his work concentrated on teacher development and measuring school performance. Much of Jensen’s work is international comparative work, particularly in high-performing systems in Asia. Ben has a Doctorate from the University of Melbourne. His dissertation analysed inequality in human capital formation.

Lee Sing Kong

Lee Sing Kong

Lee is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the Nanyang Technological University. He obtained a 1st Class Honours in Horticultural Science from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1974, supported by the Colombo Plan Scholarship and awarded by the Public Service Commission of Singapore. He received his Ph.D. in 1985 from the National University of Singapore in Plant Biotechnology.

After a career in the civil service, Lee joined the National Institute of Education (NIE) Singapore in 1991. In 2000, as Dean of the Graduate Programmes and Research Office, he implemented a wide range of professional development initiatives to enable teachers to develop professionally and to acquire postgraduate certification. He was appointed Director of NIE in 2006 and concurrently served as Dean of the External Programmes Office (EPO). When EPO evolved into NIE International Pte Ltd, Lee assumed the position of Managing Director of the new company. He retired from his position as Director in June 2014.

Lee has launched many key initiatives that have greatly impacted teacher education in Singapore and internationally. He led in the articulation of the 3:3:3 Roadmap which outlines NIE’s strategic directions from 2007-2012 which will guide NIE to achieve her vision of becoming An Institute of Distinction. In 2007, he served as the inaugural chair of the International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes, putting NIE firmly in the global league of Teacher Education providers.

Ursula Renold2

Ursula Renold

Renold is heading a research center for comparative education system at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. In addition, she is Chairman of the University Board of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland. She was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Education between September 2012 and March 2013. Prior to this, Renold was Director General of the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET) until June 2012. In this position, she has headed Switzerland‘s competence center for professional education, universities of applied sciences, and innovation since 2005. Before becoming Director General, she was head of OPET’s Vocational Education and Training Division and Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Training (teacher education). During her career, Renold has launched numerous key initiatives which have great impact on Vocational and Professional Education and Training system in Switzerland.  She holds an honorary Professorship in Professional Education at the University of Applied Labor Studies in Mannheim (Germany).

Andreas Schleicher

Andreas Schleicher

Schleicher is Deputy Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Secretary-General. He also provides strategic oversight over OECD’s work on the development and utilisation of skills and their social and economic outcomes. This includes the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems (INES).

Before joining the OECD, he was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He studied Physics in Germany and received a degree in Mathematics and Statistics in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for “exemplary democratic engagement”. He holds an honorary Professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

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