The Schott Foundation for Public Education Announces That Dr. John H. Jackson Will Become Its New President

Cambridge, MA, May 21, 2007 — Today the Schott Foundation for Public Education announced that Dr. John H. Jackson, will become the Foundation’s new President as of July 2, 2007.  Dr. Jackson joins The Schott Foundation after seven productive years in leadership positions at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He replaces former Schott President Rosa A. Smith, Ph.D. and plans to take the program successes she set in motion at Schott to the next level.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead The Schott Foundation.  My professional background and experience from the NAACP and Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, dovetail well with the strategy and vision needed to expand Schott’s work in public education,” said Dr. Jackson.

Winner of the Council on Foundations’ 2007 Critical Impact Award, The Schott Foundation supports grantees working toward statewide high quality public education for all, paying particular attention to the most vulnerable students.

“John’s experience and passion fit perfectly with Schott’s mission and vision.  He has a proven track record in all four of Schott’s strategies – education policy, public policy leadership development, creating public will and leveraging resources for the movement.  He will be a great asset as we expand our work.  We fully expect that Dr. Jackson will take our victories to the next level, making the wins more consistent and winning many more victories for our country’s most historically underserved children,” said Schott Chair of the Board, Greg Jobin-Leeds.

Dr. Jackson served as the NAACP Chief Policy Officer and prior to that as the NAACP’s National Director of Education. Before joining the NAACP, Dr. Jackson served in the Clinton Administration as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Jackson also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Race, Gender, and Public Policy at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

In 2004, Dr. Jackson founded the National Equity Center Inc., a national non-profit established to promote diversity and democratic values by providing youth with leadership, academic, research and advocacy skills to eliminate existing local and national civil rights and social justice disparities. Earlier in his career he conducted research at The Harvard Civil Rights Project on civil rights issues and legislation related to racial disparities in housing, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and employment; he also evaluated institutional policies and court orders to assess the level of compliance with civil right laws and regulations.

“Dr. John Jackson has made many contributions to the NAACP and the movement for social justice over the past seven years. While we are sad to see him go, we are pleased that one of our own is moving forward to assist the Schott Foundation in advancing educational equity and access. We appreciate his leadership in building the NAACP’s research and training capability and wish him the very best in his future endeavors”, said NAACP Chairman, Julian Bond.

Dr. Jackson possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Xavier University of Louisiana; A Master of Education degree in Education Policy from the University of Illinois’ College of Education; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois’ College of Law. In addition, Dr. Jackson received a Master of Education and Doctorate of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The Schott Foundation was an early funding and strategic force in the groundbreaking legal victory in the New York courts in 2006, in which underserved public school students in New York City were awarded an $11 billion settlement for school construction. In 2007, the New York state legislature voted to enact an unprecedented increase of $1.76 billion in aid for FY2007-08. The budget bill also includes a four-year commitment that by the 2010-11 school year, annual state school aid will increase by $7 billion. Other New York education public policy gains call for smaller class size, full day pre-kindergarten, teacher quality initiatives and other reforms.

The Schott Foundation also provided the initial start-up funding, guidance and leadership recruitment for Massachusetts’ Early Education for All Campaign. In 2003, The Schott Foundation initiated The Schott Fellowship in Early Care and Education, which supports a diverse group of mid-level early childhood education leaders to engage in policy advocacy and research with the goal of attaining elected or appointed statewide positions to support the movement for universal early education. The Schott Foundation created the national Positive Future for Black Boys Initiative, which revealed the extent to which the education system is failing young males of color and unleashed a national outrage.

Founded in 1991, The Schott Foundation provides and promotes grant-making, strategic convenings to shape the field, and donor collaborations to:

  • Build public will to guarantee every child has the right to high-quality public education.
  • Support statewide campaigns to educate the public and policymakers.
  • Develop partnerships with donors, funders, business leaders, education reform advocates, teachers, parents, youth and community leaders.
  • Foster growth of public policy leaders in traditionally underserved communities, with special emphasis on helping women and people of color participate in policy making that affects them and their families.