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Thomas Payzant Bio

Former Boston Public Schools Superintendent, Thomas W. Payzant was named a senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) where he will focus his time on students and faculty interested in urban school district reform; leadership as well as ways to connect research, policy, and practice in urban school districts.Payzant served as superintendent of the Boston Public Schools where he led a number of significant reform efforts that helped narrow the achievement gap and increase student performance on both state and national assessment exams. Specifically, from 2003–2005, Boston’s fourth-and eighth-grade students have shown the largest improvement in math scores of the 11 major cities participating in the National Assessment of Educational Progress Trial Urban District Assessment.Over 11 years, Payzant provided unparalleled leadership in turning around the Boston Public Schools, to the point that it is recognized as a national model for urban education reform in this country. Unique in that he understands the theoretical, research, and policy perspectives on urban education, he is masterful in designing and executing practices that result in improved teaching and learning in the classroom, at the school and at the district level.Recognized by educators at the regional and national level, in 1998, he was named Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year. In 2004, he received the Richard R. Green Award for Excellence in Urban Education from the Council on Great City Schools and Governing Magazine named Payzant one of eight “Public Officials of the Year” in 2005. Payzant also received the McGraw Prize for his leadership of the San Diego school system from 1982 through 1993.Prior to Boston, Payzant served as an assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education in the Clinton administration. Among other achievements in this role, he garnered bipartisan support for guiding the Improving America’s Schools Act through the legislative process.Throughout his career, Payzant has not only kept abreast of the professional and research literature, he has contributed to it regularly–a remarkable achievement for the leader of a major urban school system. His essays, book chapters, book prefaces, and book reviews have been directed to both professional educators and policymakers.TopicsEducation & Leadership in Our TimeContact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Thomas Payzant and other top speakers and celebrities.

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