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Education Dean to Serve on Distinguished National Commission
(Released: 06/05/01)

By Janice Palmer, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- Richard Schwab, dean of the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, will serve on one of the country's most prestigious education commissions. He has been invited to join the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, whose membership list reads like a "Who's Who" of public officials and education, business and community leaders.

"I am honored by the invitation and look forward to working with the commission," Schwab says. "As a member, I hope to highlight and build upon the Neag School of Education's achievements in teacher education, increase professional development for classroom teachers, and increase the recognition they receive for a job well done."

The 28-member commission is a nonpartisan and nonprofit group with a mission to improve the quality of teaching across the country. It was established in 1994 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York, and is housed at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York.

The group may be best known for its landmark report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, issued in 1996. It called attention to the need for making teacher quality a priority on the national agenda and created a blueprint for policy reforms.

Now another major report is in the works - a midterm progress report - and Schwab will take an active role in preparing it. In the letter inviting Schwab to join the commission, its chairman, James Hunt, former governor of North Carolina, stated that Schwab's "insights and experience as a dean of an innovative teacher preparation institution would greatly benefit our work."

Hunt earned a national reputation for being an education governor during his tenure in North Carolina. Another commission notable is Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University, one of the country's leading scholars in teacher education. Other members include philanthropist David Rockefeller, members of Congress, the presidents of national education organizations, and corporate leaders.

Schwab, who earned his master's and doctoral degrees at UConn, returned to his alma mater in 1997 to become dean of the Neag School of Education. He has been leading the effort to make it one of the top 10 schools of education in the country.

Schwab will attend his first commission meeting on June 7 in Raleigh, N.C.

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