Welcome to the State of California

Title

Members of the Commission



Linda Darling-Hammond
Linda Darling-Hammond Chair

Position: Faculty Member

Appointed: August 2011

Term Expires: November 2017
Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she has launched the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the School Redesign Network and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school reform, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994-2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching in the United States. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation's ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade. In 2008-09, she headed President Barack Obama's education policy transition team.

Among Darling-Hammond's more than 300 publications are The Flat World and Education: How America's Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Teachers College Press, 2010); Powerful Teacher Education: Lessons from Exemplary Programs (Jossey-Bass, 2006); Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do (with John Bransford; Jossey-Bass, 2005), winner of the AACTE Pomeroy Award; Teaching as the Learning Profession (co-edited with Gary Sykes; Jossey-Bass, 1999), which received the National Staff Development Council's Outstanding Book Award for 2000; and The Right to Learn (Jossey-Bass,1997), recipient of the American Educational Research Association's Outstanding Book Award for 1998. Among recent recognitions, she is recipient of the 2011 Brock International Prize in Education and the 2009 McGraw Hill Prize for Innovation in Education.


Kathy Harris
Kathleen HarrisVice Chair

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: August 2011

Term Expires: November 2017
Kathy Harris has been a classroom teacher in the Piner-Olivet Union School District for 25 years. From 1998 to 2009 she served as the Regional Director of the California Reading and Literature Project at Sonoma State University. She has done extensive study in the areas of reading, reading readiness, assessment, English language development, school reform, school leadership, and professional development, and has engaged in many field experiences with both teachers and principals, working to improve student achievement through effective professional development, technical assistance, and school reform. Kathy Harris has provided professional development in English Language Arts and English Language Development for K-12 teachers and administrators throughout the state as well as within the eight county region of the Sonoma/North Coast region of the California Reading and Literature Project. She continues to provide professional development focused on the California Common Core State Standards.

Kathy Harris became involved with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Development work in 2009 as a member of the National Council of Teachers of English Review Panel. In December of 2009 she joined the CCSS Development Team working on Text Complexity, and is actively working on this component of the CCSS. In 2010 she served as a member of the California Academic Contents Standards Commission. She is currently teaching 4th and 5th grade at Olivet Elementary School in Santa Rosa.





Constance Baumgardt Blackburn

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: November 2008

Term Expires: November 2016

Connie Blackburn has been a Kindergarten teacher at Central Elementary School in the Escondido Union School District in San Diego County for 23 years. She holds a Multiple Subjects teaching credential from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a specialist credential for Communication Handicapped from California State University, Los Angeles. Her area of expertise is in early literacy and cross curricular integration. An eighth generation Californian, she comes from a family of educators. Previously, she has taught the Deaf in Los Angeles County, Louisville, Kentucky and Houston, Texas.

Educated in the Torrance Unified School District in Los Angeles County, she holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Dominguez Hills and an M.A from California State University, Los Angeles. She was selected as a California Teacher of the Year in 2003 and currently serves on the executive board of the California Teachers of the Year Foundation. She believes passionately in supporting the teaching profession and has served as a master teacher for teacher candidates since 1989. In addition, she has served as a Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) support provider.





Kirsten Barnes

Position: Non-Administrative Services Credential Representative

Appointed: July 2013

Term Expires: November 2016
Kirsten Barnes has worked for the Hanford Joint Union High School District for the past 21 years. She began her career as a teacher for the continuation high school and after obtaining her counseling credential became the counselor of the continuation high for 5 years before transferring to Hanford West High School. She has been at Hanford West for the past 13 years. Kirsten also works part time in the evenings as a teacher and counselor for Crossroads Charter School in Armona, California.

Kirsten is the current President Elect of the California Association of School Counselors, (CASC), a State Council Representative for the California Teachers Association, Treasurer and Bargaining Chair of her local association: HSEA, and Vice Chair of the Tulare Kings Service Center Council. She is also a member of American School Counselor Association, National Education Association, Humane Society and the SPCA. She received her Masters in School Counseling from Fresno Pacific University and her Bachelors in Liberal Studies from Mount St. Mary's College.



C. Michael Cooney

Position: Public Representative

Appointed: June 2011

Term Expires: November 2017

Michael Cooney is a partner in Investment Group of Santa Barbara and President and General Counsel of Cimarron Management Company. Mr. Cooney is also currently a member of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission. He served on the California Student Aid Commission from 2000-2004 and was Chair of that commission for 3 years. He was on the Board of Directors at EdFund from 2006-2010 and a trustee with Montecito Union School District from 1977 to 1988. Mr. Cooney also was a partner with Price, Postel & Parma in Santa Barbara, California for 30 years.



Charles Gahagan

Position: Teacher Representative --

Appointed: March 2009

Term Expires: November 2016

Charles Gahagan has taught high school English since 1969, with the exception of 1971 to 1974, when he served in the U. S. Army Security Agency as a Russian interpreter. He earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his M.A. from Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, both in English literature. He holds a single subject credential in English, as well as CLAD and GATE certificates. He moved to California from Michigan in 1986 to help open Moreno Valley Canyon Springs High School, where he still teaches AP English literature. An English department co-chair and co-chair of the school's WASC Leadership Team, he has taught most courses found in a high school English department, including newspaper, yearbook, film studies and humanities. Currently a workshop presenter for the SB472 teacher training program, he has also taught education classes and conducted other teacher workshops. He has been active in new-teacher support since 1992, first as a mentor teacher, then as a BTSA Support Provider. Since 1999, he has been the spelling master for the Riverside County Spelling Bee.



Mary C. Jones

Position: Administrative Services Credential Representative

Appointed: July 2013

Term Expires: November 2015
Dr. Mary C. Jones has been an educator for the past 41 years. Her experiences include teaching all subjects in grades four through six; working as a Title I Math Lab; serving as a teacher for Gifted and Talented students in grades two through six; teaching English as a Second Language; and working as a Language Development Specialist. She currently serves as the Interim Deputy Superintendent in the Denair Unified School District. Previously she has served in various administrative roles in the Ceres Unified School District that included assistant principal, principal, and assistant and Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services. As a public school administrator for the last 20 years, she have been successful in addressing the challenges of academic improvement for all students by raising achievement levels for students at schools with very diverse populations.

Dr. Jones was the Association of California School Administrators' 2008 Administrator of the Year in the area of Curriculum & Instruction; 2009 Rotarian of the Year for Ceres Rotary Club; and 2010 Working Woman of the Year for the Merced County Business and Professional Women's Club. Dr. Jones holds a Master's Degree in School Administration from CSU Stanislaus and a Doctorate Degree in Organization & Leadership from the University of San Francisco


Shane P. Martin

Position: Ex-Officio Representative of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities

Appointed: June 2008

Term Expires: Ongoing

Shane P. Martin, an educational anthropologist by training and expert in the areas of intercultural education, cultural diversity, Catholic schools, and charter schools, was appointed dean of the LMU School of Education in 2005 and dean of Graduate Studies in 2012. Dean Martin is visible in the education community as past chair of the Green Dot Public Schools Board of Directors, and a member of the Loyola High School of Los Angeles Board of Regents and Teach For America Los Angeles Board. He is a speaker in a variety of arenas - civic, business, and education - and keynotes conferences in the United States and internationally. Professional activities include serving as past president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Education Council and regular invitations to review articles and manuscripts.

In addition to honors in "Who's Who in the World, in America, and in Education," Martin received the National Catholic Educational Association's (NCEA) Michael J. Guerra Leadership Award in 2005 and Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ, Award in 2009, and the Loyola High School Alumni Association's Cahalan Award in 2008. He is a member of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Board of Examiners and the California Committee on Accreditation Board of Institutional Reviewers. He is currently chair of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Special Interest Group (SIG) on Catholic Education.

Dean Martin earned his Ph.D. in International and Intercultural Education at the University of Southern California, a Master of Theology degree at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley (JSTB) with a specialization in Hispanic Ministry, and his Master of Divinity degree also from JSTB. An LMU alumnus, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1980 and holds his California State Clear Secondary Teaching Credential. Before returning to LMU as a faculty member, Martin's classroom teaching experience included six years in middle and secondary school settings and work in 17 Latin American countries.

Dean Martin's published books are: Justice, Care, and Diversity: Addressing the Needs of All Students in Catholic Secondary Schools (NCEA, 2009), with E.F. Litton, Equity, Advocacy and Diversity: New Directions for Catholic Schools (NCEA, 2004), with E.F. Litton, and Cultural Diversity in Catholic Schools: Challenges and Opportunities for Catholic Educators (NCEA, 1996). He has contributed to many peer-reviewed publications on the topics of cultural diversity in Catholic schools, technology and learning, social justice in education, and multicultural education. He also has presented numerous scholarly papers, including those at the National Catholic Educational Association, the American Anthropological Association, and the American Educational Research Association.



Nancy Ramirez

Position: Public Representative

Appointed: June 2011

Term Expires: November 2017

Nancy Ramirez is the Western Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation's leading Latino civil rights law firm. As Regional Counsel, she oversees the litigation and public policy priorities for the western states. The regional office represents Latinos in education, employment, voting rights, and immigrants' rights cases.

Under her leadership, MALDEF successfully represented the largest number of victims of police misconduct during the immigrants' rights rally at MacArthur Park on May 1, 2007, in Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network v. City of Los Angeles and, has filed numerous challenges to anti-immigrant state and local laws.

As a voting rights staff attorney for MALDEF from 1991-1997, Ms. Ramirez handled redistricting and Voting Rights Act challenges to discriminatory election systems.

From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Ramirez was the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (LACLJ), a nonprofit community law office in Boyle Heights that provides free legal services to indigent residents of Los Angeles County. She managed a staff of 17 and a budget of $1.1 million. From 2001 to 2005 she was the LACLJ's Managing Attorney for the Consumer Unit representing victims of consumer fraud. She also represented victims of domestic violence in their family law cases.

Ms. Ramirez was the Director of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez's Orange County and Washington D.C. offices from 1997 to 1999 and Director of Outreach for California's 2000 Census Campaign. In addition, she taught legal writing at the University of Southern California Law School in 2003-2004.

Ms. Ramirez served on the City of Monterey Park's Personnel Commission from 2003 to 2008 and chaired the commission in 2007. She currently sits on the board of directors for the LACLJ, where she has served since 2007.

Ms. Ramirez is a 1990 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1987 graduate of U.C. Berkeley. She resides in Monterey Park with her husband, attorney David Garcia.

 


Ref Rodriguez

Position: Public Representative

Appointed: July 2013

Term Expires: November 2016

Dr. Ref Rodriguez is President and CEO of Partners for Developing Futures (Partners). Partners is a social venture investment fund that primarily invests in high-potential, early-stage minority-led charter schools and charter school networks that serve underserved students. Partners' mission is to efficiently identify, recruit, and support leaders of color in creating and growing high-quality charter schools and charter school networks.

Prior to joining Partners, Ref co-founded and served as co-Chief Executive Officer of Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC), a charter school management organization serving communities in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and Northeast Los Angeles. During his tenure, PUC developed 10 schools and became a well-regarded charter management organization in California. Ref's original inspiration for starting a charter school was to offer high quality learning experiences for youth in the predominantly Latino working class community where he grew up. His outrage for being considered "fortunate" for having graduated from college because of his socio-economic background is what drives him to create and support schools where college graduation is an expectation for all. Before joining the charter schools movement, Ref worked in the business sector and as a teacher and administrator in Catholic parochial schools. He is the first of five children of Mexican immigrants to graduate from college. Ref is an advocate for the health and welfare of vulnerable populations. He has been appointed to boards and commissions that focus on serving those most in need.

Ref is adjunct professor in the School of Education at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University where we helped develop a Master's and Administrative Credential Program for aspiring leaders in charter schools. He is a fellow of the Aspen Institute-Pahara Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education, Class of 2007. He is a fellow of the German Marshall Fund's Marshall Memorial Fellowship Program, Class of 2011. Ref holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara.

 




Tine Sloan

Position: Ex-Officio Representative of University of California

Appointed: May 2007

Term Expires: Ongoing

Tine Sloan is the Acting Director of the Teacher Education Program in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara. She has taught courses in the Ph.D. and Teacher Education Programs focused on issues in human development, educational psychology, teacher education, and assessment. Her primary research interests revolve around teacher education, particularly with respect to teacher and teacher educator learning, as well as to the role that policy and context play in this learning and in program development. Related to this is her interest in understanding, developing and using valid and reliable assessments of teacher and student learning. All of her work is framed by her primary interest in understanding and advocating for the well being of children in educational contexts. Prior to coming to UCSB, she spent 3 years in Singapore and was a member of the faculty at the National Institute of Education in Nanyang Technological University. Dr. Sloan completed her teacher certification at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1988, and her master's and doctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996.



Juliet Tiffany-Morales

Position: School Board Member Representative

Appointed: July 2013

Term Expires: November 2016






Alicia Williamson

Position: Teacher Representative

Appointed: August 2011

Term Expires: November 2016
Alicia Williamson is an elementary school teacher in Cambrian School District in San Jose. She has been teaching for 11 years. Alicia serves as the President of Cambrian District Teachers Association. In addition, she serves as a State Council Representative for the California Teachers Association. Within her local community, she is active in organizing candidates for school board elections and working to pass parcel taxes. Alicia is an active member of the Junior League of San Jose.

In her free time Alicia enjoys outdoor activities, anything from hiking to scuba diving. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Aaron, and their three beautiful children. Alicia is an avid reader and lifelong learner. She hopes to return to school within the next 5 years to earn her PhD.



Beverly Young

Position: Ex-Officio Representative of California State University

Appointed: May 2005

Term Expires: Ongoing

Dr. Beverly Young is currently the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Teacher Education and Public School Programs for the California State University System. She works with the campus Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Deans of Education in order to facilitate changes in teacher preparation within the 23-campus system. She earned her Master's degree in Diagnosis and Improvement of Reading and earned her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction.

Prior to coming to the Chancellor's Office, Dr. Young has served as teacher education faculty at CSU Fullerton and as an elementary school teacher. She has also been involved with the Commission's SB 2042 Panel, the SB 1422 Panel, and the Accreditation Study Work Group.


Richard Zeiger

Position: Designee, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Appointed: July, 2011

Term Expires: Ongoing

Richard Zeiger serves as the Chief Deputy Superintendent to California State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tom Torlakson. Zeiger is responsible for managing and coordinating all functions of the California Department of Education (CDE). He provides direction for the development and implementation of statewide educational strategies and oversees program and policy operations.

Zeiger represents the SSPI with a variety of organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the California Legislature, other state boards and commissions, county offices of education, and local school districts.

Prior to joining CDE, Zeiger worked for the state Legislature for 14 years. Most recently he was chief of staff to Superintendent Torlakson when Torlakson was a member of the state Senate and state Assembly. He has also served as a principal consultant and chief of staff to both Assembly and Senate leaders.

Before entering state service Zeiger was a journalist. He was editor of the California Journal and Sacramento correspondent for the Riverside Press Enterprise. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of California, Riverside, where he earned a degree in political science.

Zeiger and his wife, Jane, have been married for nearly 40 years. They have two children, Sarah and Benjamin. Everyone in the the Zeiger family went to California public schools and both children are graduates of the University of California.



  Michelle Zumot

Position: Designee, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Appointed: July, 2011

Term Expires: Ongoing

 



Current Commission Vacancies

  • Public Member Representative (1 vacancy)
  • Teacher Representative (2 vacancies)



Updated February 27, 2014