CSO Master Class: Managing to Change the World

Event Description

Purpose: Student discipline is a hot topic facing all public schools, including charter public schools. This master class provided information to charter support organizations (CSOs) about this challenging issue. It included sessions that unpacked the data about the exact nature of the problems that exist within charter schools, examined the basic legal requirements for charter school discipline policies, presented cutting edge school level approaches to discipline, and highlighted case studies about how this issue has played out in the District of Columbia and New Orleans. Each session included a discussion about how CSOs can directly help their schools on the matter at hand.


Nat Malkus, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute (AEI): Nat Malkus is a research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he specializes in K–12 education. Specifically, he applies quantitative data to education policy. His work focuses on school finance, charter schools, school choice, and the future of standardized testing.

Before joining AEI, Malkus was a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research, where he led research teams analyzing national education data on topics ranging from how many college students take remedial courses, to the comparisons between charter and traditional public schools, to tracking student achievement and graduation rates in schools undergoing turnaround reforms.

Previously, Malkus worked on a four-year experimental study to evaluate whether math coaches could help math teachers improve student performance. He has also taught advanced graduate statistics courses and quantitative policy analysis to graduate students. Earlier, Malkus spent four years as a middle-school teacher in Maryland.

Malkus has a Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.A. in historical studies from Covenant College.

Karega Rausch, Vice President of Research and Evaluation, National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA): M. Karega Rausch, Ph.D., is NACSA’s Vice President of Research and Evaluation. He leads and manages NACSA’s work to increase knowledge of quality authorizing practices and policies by shaping and managing a research agenda that further defines effective authorizing. Karega brings a wealth of charter school authorizing, educational research and policy, community engagement, and strategic advocacy experience to NACSA. Karega is a former Charter Schools Director with the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office; founded and served as Director of the Indianapolis affiliate of Stand for Children, a national educational advocacy nonprofit; and was on the leadership team of Indiana University’s Equity Project, housed at the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. Karega has authored or co-authored numerous professional publications, and has presented at more than 50 research conferences across the country on charter school authorizing, racial/ethnic disproportionality in school discipline, and special education reform. Karega earned his Ph.D. (educational psychology) and master’s degree from Indiana University.

Paul O’Neill, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools: Paul’s professional experience spans the education sector. He served for several years as General Counsel of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute (CSI), one of the nation’s leading charter school authorizing offices. After this public service, he went into private practice in the boutique national education law firm of Brustein & Manasevit. He moved on to hold positions of Senior Vice President, Chief Regulatory Officer, head education lawyer and Senior Fellow for EdisonLearning, the national school management and services organization. Notably, Paul led Edison’s efforts to engage in the post-Katrina revitalization of public schooling in New Orleans. He is a former Associate Director of the Newgrange School and Educational Outreach Center in New Jersey, which serves individuals with learning disabilities, and a former litigator in the New York offices of Dewey Ballantine LLP and Willkie, Farr & Gallagher.  On the academic side, Paul serves on the adjunct faculty of Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he teaches courses on education law and policy, including Designing Charter Schools, and Special Education Law & Policy. In 2011, he was honored to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College for achievement within 10 years of graduation.

He is a frequent guest lecturer at other universities on a range of education reform topics and is the author of several books and numerous scholarly and professional articles. His books include the Charter School Law Deskbook (Lexis Nexis Publishers), soon to be in its 3rd Edition, and the No Child Left Behind Compliance Manual (LRP Publications), currently in its 2nd Edition. 

Paul is committed to community service; he helped found charter schools in the South Bronx and New Orleans and is currently Chair of a charter school on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He served for several years as Chair of the Education & Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, as well as on the Professional Advisory Board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York City.  A graduate of Oberlin College, Paul earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his M.Ed. from Teachers College.

Adam Hawf, Chief of Staff, Orleans Parish School Board: Adam Hawf is the Chief of Staff of the Orleans Parish School Board in New Orleans, LA. Previously, Adam served as Deputy Superintendent, Portfolio for the Recovery School District and Assistant Superintendent, Portfolio for the Louisiana Department of Education, Adam led successful efforts to transform persistently struggling schools, provide schools with the funding they need to serve students with high-cost special needs, and raise performance expectations for all state-authorized charter schools.

Rashida Young, Senior Manager, Equity and Fidelity Manager, District of Columbia Public Charter School Board: Rashida Young leads the Equity and Fidelity Team, which focuses on all non-academic public charter school indicators of school quality such as attendance, discipline and issues of public safety. She manages projects relating to charter school compliance; high school audits; charter amendments; special education; new school planning; and collection and reporting of non-academic data. Her team is also responsible for publishing Equity Reports, which highlight schools’ subgroup data on a variety of metrics.  Additionally, the team manages the intake of stakeholder complaints against schools and ensures that school leaders respond to and/ or mediate with families that may have grievances.  Ms. Young was a teacher for ten years in Virginia and Washington DC, in both traditional public and public charter schools. As a teacher, she developed high school curriculum, served as a social studies department chairperson and a coach. She studied at Hampton University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters in Teaching.

Elyce Martinez, Research Analyst, California Charter Schools Association: As Senior Research Analyst for the California Charter School Association’s Achievement and Performance Management team, Elyce Martinez oversees all the achievement performance databases in the Association. Having earned a Master’s in Public Policy, she serves as lead data analyst and pursues research initiatives to summarize and advance the performance of California’s charter public schools. Elyce is a primary contributor to the Association’s published reports and has led the development of the interactive snapshot tools in support of legislative, policy, media, and advocacy efforts. With particular focus on improving outcomes for historically underserved populations, Elyce’s research contributions have included "A Step Up: How Charter Schools Provide Higher Levels of California Public University Access" and CCSA’s annual “Portrait of the Movement” report. She has also contributed additional research into statewide suspension rates and played a key role in the development of the metrics comprised in the Association’s new academic accountability measure.  

Lionel Allen, Chief Academic Officer, Urban Prep: Lionel Allen, Jr. is the Chief Academic Officer of Urban Prep Academies, an organization founded in 2002 with the mission of providing educational opportunities to urban boys leading to their success in college. Urban Prep operates three all-male schools, including the country’s first all-boys public charter high school, as well as an alumni program and a full-year fellowship program for recent college graduates. For the past seven years 100% of Urban Prep’s graduates have been accepted to four-year colleges and universities.

Previously, Dr. Allen served as principal of the Sherman School of Excellence, the nation's and the Academy for Urban School Leadership's first No Child Left Behind turnaround school. Under his leadership, Sherman students achieved significant academic gains in both reading and mathematics.

As Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Allen leads the network of Urban Prep schools to ensure students continue to achieve dramatic performance gains. Highlights of his responsibilities include establishing the network’s student development goals, implementing Urban Prep’s rigorous curriculum and participating in the application process for new schools.

Dr. Allen earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Northwestern University, a master's degree in leadership and administration and a doctoral degree in urban education leadership both from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Allen was raised on Chicago’s Southside and attended Chicago Public Schools.

Ric Zappa, Head of Schools, KIPP Bay Area Schools: Ric currently leads KIPP’s character and restorative justice work for the region as Head of Schools. He joined KIPP as School leader of KIPP Summit Academy in 2008 and entirely transformed the student and staff behavioral culture to one of restorative justice practices. As a result, the academic results for KIPP Summit are one of the highest in the region and in the KIPP network nationally.

Before becoming principal, Ric taught music and social studies at KSA. He also taught at Head-Royce for twelve years, where he served as a department chair and Dean of Students. In addition, Ric taught music at Apple Valley College for two years and conducted the Oakland Civic Orchestra for five years. He graduated from Long Island University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology and from Hunter College in New York City with a degree in music. He also earned a Masters in music from Mills College in Oakland, CA. When he is not at KIPP, Mr. Zappa spends time with his family, plays music with a jazz band, paints, and has written several plays.