Barbara R. Davidson

Barbara is an education industry executive with deep, hands-on experience in K-12 education policy, practice, and operations. She served as President of StandardsWork from 2003-2009 and has recently returned to its helm as part of an organizational commitment to advancing the vital role of strong curriculum, the importance of deep content knowledge in students, and the impact that evidence-based instructional practices can provide teachers.

Barbara’s talent is in leading collaborative work. During her seven years away from StandardsWork she served as Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the National Council for Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and Deputy Director of Great Minds (formerly Common Core, Inc.). At NCTQ she led the teacher preparation group in rethinking both its district-facing work and its biennial review of teacher preparation programs at over 1400 colleges and universities. At Great Minds, a non-profit organization that creates content-rich curriculum in the full range of the liberal arts and sciences, Barbara ran operations during a period of dramatic growth due to the successful authorship and market launch of Eureka Math (aka EngageNY Math). In addition to overseeing the research and development of a compatible English language arts product, Barbara spearheaded the design, development, and high quality execution of Great Mind’s online and site-based professional development offerings.

Barbara started her career in education as a teacher of learning disabled students in Norfolk, Virginia and has trained teachers on behalf of two educational publishing companies. She has served in key leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Education under two secretaries of education: Bill Bennett and Lamar Alexander.

During Barbara’s leadership at StandardsWork, the organization executed many high-profile projects on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education, the National Assessment Governing Board, the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, the Indiana Higher Education Commission, the District of Columbia Public Schools, National Endowment for the Humanities, Texas Education Agency, the Center for Education Reform, and others.

A fearless champion of classroom-based education reform generally, and content-rich curriculum in particular, Barbara is a tactical leader with a keen ability to translate strategic initiatives into desired results. Her degree is in elementary and special education from the University of Iowa. She lives in Barnesville, MD with her son, husband, two Arabian horses, and dog Eevee.


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