The ReadWorks advisors take an active role in programmatic and strategic planning. The advisors provide a valuable “outsider” point of view to strengthen the organization and its services.
After graduating from Yale University, Mr. Levin joined Teach for America where he taught 5th grade in Houston, Texas, for three years. In 1994, he co-founded the Knowledge is Power Program with Mike Feinberg, and the next year went on to found KIPP Academy New York. Mr. Levin currently serves as Superintendent of KIPP New York, and serves on the Board of Directors of the KIPP Foundation. He received the Robin Hood Foundation's John F. Kennedy Jr. Hero Award in Education in 1999, was appointed to the New York State Commission for Education Reform in 2003, was named an Ashoka Fellow in 1994, awarded to leading social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions and the potential to change patterns across society, and along with Mike Feinberg was awarded The Thomas B. Fordham Prize for Excellence in Education and the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen in 2006.
Mr. Milliken is the Founder and Vice-Chairman of Communities in Schools (CIS), a national drop-out prevention program that provides community services in urban schools. For over 40 years, Mr. Milliken has been a pioneer in the movement to integrate community resources into schools, in order to ensure that all students receive the support they need to graduate and succeed. In the 1960s, he and his colleagues started “Street Academies,” a group of innovative, store-front schools for high school drop-outs in New York City. In 1977, he founded CIS, which has grown to become the largest drop-out prevention program in the US, serving over two million at-risk students across 32 states. Mr. Milliken has won numerous awards for his commitment to urban students, including the Edward A. Smith Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and an honorary doctorate from Bard College. He recently received the National Jefferson Award.
Lance R. Odden
Mr. Odden served as Headmaster of the Taft School from 1972 to 2001. He is currently a Director of Scientific Learning Corporation and the Berkshire School. Previously, he served as Chair of A Better Chance, President of The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, President of the Headmasters’ Association, Chair of the Government Relations and Executive Committees of the National Association of Independent Schools and Director of the Bank of Boston in Connecticut. Mr. Odden earned his BA from Princeton University, his MA from the University of Wisconsin, Doctor of Letters from Middlebury College and Doctor of Humane Letters from Hamilton College.
Mr. Rea has been a technical advisor from the inception of ReadWorks, and now contributes to strategic planning as well. Mr. Rea studied educational technology at Harvard University, where he holds a Masters Degree in Education, and at the MIT Media Lab. He has broad experience combining technology and education initiatives, including technical direction of the NSF-funded Physics 2000 Project and two years teaching computer science at Phillips Exeter Academy. More recently he served as the Director of Technology Assessment at private equity firm General Atlantic, providing strategic and tactical guidance on technology issues, and lately he has been working with a variety of internet startups.
Albert Wenger is a partner at Union Square Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based in New York City that specializes in internet start-up companies. UVS is a principal investor in the social networking website Twitter. Mr. Wenger combines over ten years of entrepreneurial experience with a significant background in internet technology. As an entrepreneur he has founded or co-founded five companies, including an early-stage investment firm and a technology subsidiary for Telebanc (now E*Tradebank). At the age of age 18, Mr. Wenger won the German national computer science competition. He graduated from Harvard College, summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science, and he holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT.
Dr. Joanna Williams
Dr. Williams has been a valued advisor to ReadWorks since 2003. She is a professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University and is internationally renowned for her research on linguistic, cognitive and perceptual bases of reading development. She was a member of the National Reading Panel, a body commissioned by Congress to identify the most effective ways to teach children to read. She is a past editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology and the founding editor of Scientific Studies of Reading. She has also received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Oscar S. Causey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Reading Research from the National Reading Conference.