- Trish Williams
Executive Director, EdSource
TRISH WILLIAMS, study project director, has been Executive Director of EdSource since 1992. Under her leadership, EdSource has expanded its research role, broadened the education policy topics it researches and reports on, diversified and significantly increased its audience reach within California and nationally, and established a reputation as a premier resource for high quality and impartial information, research, data, and analysis. Besides Similar Schools, Different Results, EdSource has conducted other surveys, including one the past two years with California’s 500+ charter schools, and participated on major research or evaluation teams, including California's Class Size Reduction Research Consortium and the state funded II/USP evaluation. Before coming to EdSource, Williams had served as a Presidential Management Intern and then a management analyst for three years in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She subsequently served eight years as a program and policy consultant to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, a statewide agency with oversight powers over the state departments serving children. Williams's two sons are graduates of the Cupertino public schools where Williams served as an active volunteer at the elementary, middle, high school, and district levels. Williams holds a bachelors degree in English literature and a master’s degree in urban studies/public policy from her hometown school, the University of Tulsa.
- Michael Kirst
MICHAEL W. KIRST, principal investigator for the study, has been Professor of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969. He is a faculty affiliate with the Department of Political Science, and has a courtesy appointment with the Graduate School of Business. Kirst was a member of the California State Board of Education (1975-1982) and its president from 1977 to 1981. Before joining the Stanford faculty, he held positions with the federal government including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty, and Director of Program Planning and Evaluation for the Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Office of Education. He has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences; a member of the National Academy of Education since 1979; Vice-President of the American Educational Research Association; and commissioner of the Education Commission of the States. He co-founded Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and is on the management/research staff of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education His numerous articles address school finance politics, curriculum politics, intergovernmental relations, and education reform policies. Recent books include The Political Dynamics of American Education (2005) and From High School to College (2004). Kirst holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Dartmouth College, an M.P.A. in government and economics from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard.