At the present time, Mr. Jennings has no organizational or institutional affiliation, but does occasionally write and present. Recent publications most notably include a book, Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools (Harvard Education Press: March 2015), blogs for the Huffington Post, and an article in the October 2016 issue of the School Administrator. Recent meetings include those with the Frederick County Maryland Public Schools, the National Association of School Boards, the National Assessment Governing Board, and the National Academy of Education. Also, Mr. Jennings had an interview with the Washington Post that was distributed as a video by that newspaper.
B. The Center on Education Policy
From 1995 to 2012 — Mr. Jennings founded and also served as President and CEO of the Center on Education Policy in Washington, D.C. The Center, an independent, national, non-partisan advocate for public schools, communicated with teachers, parents, and members of the general public through presentations, books, pamphlets, and brochures. The Center also encouraged actions to improve the schools through assisting states and school districts, and through arranging national meetings and conferences. In 2012, when Mr. Jennings left the Center, it became part of the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development with the same mission and activities.
C. The U.S. Congress
From 1967 to 1994 — Mr. Jennings worked in the area of federal aid to education for the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress. In that capacity, he was involved for more than a quarter century in nearly every major education debate held at the national level. His congressional positions were:
Staff Director and Counsel, Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, 1967 to 1990
Counsel for Education, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, 1980 to 1990, and also continued as Subcommittee Staff Director and Counsel
General Counsel for Education, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, 1990 to 1994
In those positions Mr. Jennings worked on:
- every reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,
- the Vocational Education Act,
- the School Lunch Act,
- the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,
- the Higher Education Act, and
- the civil rights laws and other issues affecting education and social welfare.
As the chief expert on education for the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Jennings spoke at hundreds of meetings in the United States and representing the United States traveled to China, the former U.S.S.R., Italy, and other countries.
A.B. History, Loyola University of Chicago, June, 1964
J.D. Northwestern University School of Law, June, 1967
E. Legal Qualifications
Former Member of the Legal Bars of the State of Illinois, the Federal 7th Circuit, and the District of Columbia.
Current Member of the Legal Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.
1. Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools: The Politics of Education Reform, Harvard Education Press, March, 2015.
2. Why National Standards and Tests? Politics and the Quest for Better Schools, Sage Publications, April, 1998.
3. Editor, National Issues in Education, a series of four books:
a. The Past is Prologue — May, 1993
b. Community Service and Student Loans — June, 1994
c. Goals 2000 and School-To-Work — January, 1995
d. Elementary and Secondary Education Act — July, 1995
Editor, Washington Newsletter, Phi Delta Kappa International, 1980s-2000s
1. For the School Administrator
Overcoming A Fear of Politicians,
2. For the Education Law and Policy Review, Vol 3, 2016
Fifty Years of Federal Aid to Schools: Back into the Future?
3. For The American School Board Journal
National Standards Now?
4. For the Phi Delta Kappan, the professional journal for education, where Mr. Jennings contributed more articles than have been published by any other individual, including:
ESEA at 50
Vol. 96, No. 7 (April 2015): 41-46
What has President Obama done?
Vol. 94, No. 2 (October 2012): 50, 52-54.
The Policy and Politics of Rewriting the Nation’s Main Education Law
Vol. 92, No. 4 (December 2010-January 2011): pp. 44-49.
Ten Big Effects of the No Child Left Behind Act on Public Schools
Vol. 88, No. 02 (October 2006): 110-113.
Authored with Diane Stark Rentner
5. For Education Week
Shifting School Reform from the Negative to the Positive
February 25, 2015
Reaching Across the Ideological Aisle
March 13, 2013
Title I — A Success
January 26, 2000
6. Articles also appeared in:
Journal of Law and Education
Journal of the American Vocational Association
Journal of Education Finance
School Business Affairs
Occupational Education Reform
Transcript (NASFAA magazine)
Bulletin (NAASP magazine)
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management
Dialogue (The Iowa School Board magazine)
Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis (AERA magazine)
The Washington Post
Blogs, Radio Interviews, and Webinars
Since February, 2011, Mr. Jennings has been a regular blogger on education topics for The Huffington Post, compiling over 40 postings through March 2017. The latest is Why Continue an Old Assessment? (March, 2017).
The Washington Post made and distributed a video of an interview conducted on March 15, 2017, with Mr. Jennings on the topic of the reasons for and functions of the U.S. Department of Education. The topic was related to the controversy then occurring on the nomination of Ms. Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education.
Will Education Flourish After NCLB’s Repeal?, appeared on December 18, 2015 as a piece written for The Blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Harvard Education Publishing Group.
On May 18, 2015, a webinar was sponsored on Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools by the Alliance for Excellent Education. In addition, AEE interviewed Mr. Jennings for six short interviews on topics related to the book. Those interviews are on AEE’s website and have also appeared on YouTube. The webinar also appears on that website.
Rethinking ESEA at 50, an article based on an interview with Mr. Jennings about Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools, appeared in the Harvard Education Letter in the May/June 2015 issue.
In late 2014 and in 2015, Mr. Jennings was interviewed about Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools by various radio stations: BAM Radio for the American Association of School Administrators on December 3; Harvard EdCast on March 25; National Public Radio on April 14; and Ed Talk Radio on April 23.
Societies and Professional Organizations
Member — National Academy of Education
Former Member — Phi Delta Kappa International Foundation, Board of Directors
Former Chair — Phi Delta Kappa International Foundation, Board of Directors
Former Member — Educational Testing Service, Board of Trustees
Former Member — The Pew Forum on Standards — Based Reform
Former Member — The Finance Project, Board of Directors
Former Co-Chair — Visionary Panel, State of Maryland
Former Member — Academic Intervention Panel, State of Maryland
Former Member — American Youth Policy Forum, Steering Committee
Former Member — Institute for Educational Leadership Policy Exchange, Resource Council
Former Member — American Education Finance Association, Board of Directors
Former Member — Educational Staff Seminar, Steering Committee
Former Member — Work in America Institute, National Advisory Committee on Literacy
On March 2, 2017, Panelist, Conference on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, sponsored by the National Assessment Governing Board. A paper prepared for the Board appears on this site.
January 30, 2017, Panelist, National Legislative Conference, Nation School Boards Association
November 19, 2016, Moderator, Panel on Journalism and Education, National Academy of Education
September 29, 2016, Speaker, Association of Educational Service Agencies
September 21, 2016, Speaker, Committee for Education Funding
September 21, 2016, Video, American Association of School Administrators
September 16, 2016, Presenter, Workshop, National Academy of Education
August 11, 2016, Presenter, Frederick County Maryland Public Schools
July 18, 2016, Speaker, George Washington University and the National Association of School Psychologists
April 27, 2016, Discussion, Education Policy Course session, Stanford University
April 11, 2016, Presentation on the new federal law, American Educational Research Association
March 9, 2016, Presentation on Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools, Cosmos Club
February 11, 2016, Presenter, National Conference on Education, American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
January 14, 2016, Presenter, board of directors, AASA
November 6, 2015, Presenter, board of directors, the Foundation of the National Education Association
October, 2015, Presenter, National Academy of Education
October, 2015, Presenter, the board of directors, Council for Exceptional Children
October, 2015, Presenter, National Superintendents Roundtable
September, 2015, Presenter, George Washington University policy class
July, 2015, Presenter, Center for American Progress meeting
July, 2015, Presenter, National Special Education Policy Conference
July, 2015, Presenter, Council of Policy-oriented Foundations meeting
May, 2015, Presenter, Institute of Public Policy, University of Chicago
May, 2015, Presenter, Institute of Education Leadership and AERA conference
April 2015, Presenter, Education Writers of America annual conference
April, 2015, Presenter, American Education Research Association annual conference
April 2015, Presenter, Official Release of Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools at the National Press Club
March 2015, Presenter, National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators
February 2015 Presenter, Legislative Conference, National Association of Elementary School Principals
January-March 2014, Lecturer of Public Policy in Education, George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, three major presentations
March 2013, Participated as an American representative at a conference on the legal and constitutional rights of racial and ethnic minorities in the European Community sponsored by the German government and the Center on Civic Education, held in Munich.
April 2013, Lecturer, George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development
July, 2013, Speaker at Columbia University’s summer institute on law and education
October 2013, Presenter, Horace Mann League annual meeting, recipient of distinguished service award
January 2012, Speaker at the Learning First Alliance, recipient of award for excellence
July 2012, Speaker at Columbia University’s summer institute on law and education
February 2012, Participated in the Horace Mann League special meeting
September 2011, Moderator at The American Education Research Association and National Academy of Education conference in Washington, D.C.
Awards, from groups such as:
National Superintendents’ Roundtable
Learning First Alliance
American Educational Research Association Distinguished Public Service Award
The National Association of Secondary School Principals
The National Association of Elementary School Principals
The Council for Exceptional Children
National Center for Research in Vocational Education
American School Food Service Association
National Defense University — Industrial College of the Armed Forces
National Association of State Councils on Vocational Education
Council for the Advancement of Citizenship — Board of Directors
American Association of School Administrators
American Association of Education Service Agencies
National Association of State Chapter 1 Coordinators
Massachusetts School Food Service Association
California Association of Administrators of State and Federal Educational Programs
The Chapter 1 Educators and Parents of Massachusetts
The National Center for Research in Vocational Education at the Ohio State University
American Association for Adult and Continuing Education
Association for Compensatory Educators of Texas
Association for Children with Learning Disabilities
Ohio’s Title I Directors and Division of Federal Assistance
The National Association of State Directors of Vocational Technical Education
Phi Delta Kappa International
National School Boards Association
Phi Delta Kappa District II Conference
National Association of Trade and Industrial Schools
Illinois Congress of Parents and Teachers — Honorary Life Member