Note: This Curriculum Vitae of Jack Jennings is archived and will not be updated after April 2020.

Curriculum Vitae of Jack Jennings

Professional Background

A. Currently

At the present time, Mr. Jennings has no organizational or institutional affiliation, but occasionally writes and speaks to various groups. In April 2020, his latest book, Fatigued by School Reform, will be published and released by Rowman and Littlefield.

Other recent publications include most notably a Japanese translation of his book, Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools (Harvard Education Press: March 2015). In November 2018, this translation was released by the publisher, the University of Tokyo Press, pursuant to an agreement with Harvard University, the publisher of the original book in English.

Another notable publication from Mr. Jennings was an article that appeared in the September issue of the Kappan, It’s time to redefine the federal role in K-12 education. His opinion pieces also appear in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and as well as in other various sites. Mr. Jennings’ last presentation was to the National Superintendents’ Roundtable.

In reading this CV, you may notice that several older publications attribute the work to “John F. Jennings,” but more recent ones note the author as “Jack Jennings.” As American society has become more informal, nick names are acceptable for publications. So, either way, it is one and the same person.

B. The Center on Education Policy

In 1995 Mr. Jennings founded the Center on Education Policy, an independent research and advocacy organization, based in Washington, D.C. The Center’s work mostly involved the improvement of public elementary and secondary education through proposing new policies and analyzing current national and state policies. In Education Week CEP was recognized as one of the country’s ten most influential organizations in education. The others included the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, the Gates Foundation, an advocacy group, and the teachers’ unions. CEP was by far the smallest of the ten in terms of staff and budget. Mr. Jennings headed CEP until early 2012 when the organization became affiliated with George Washington University.

C. The Congress

From 1967 to 1994 — Mr. Jennings worked in the area of federal aid to education for the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress. In that capacity, he was involved for more than a quarter century in nearly every major education debate held at the national level. His congressional positions were:

Staff Director and Counsel, Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, 1967 to 1990

Counsel for Education, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, 1980 to 1990, and also continued as Subcommittee Staff Director and Counsel

General Counsel for Education, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives, 1990 to 1994

In those positions Mr. Jennings worked on:

every re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,

the Vocational Education Act,

the School Lunch Act,

the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,

the Higher Education Act, and

the civil rights laws and other issues affecting education and social welfare.

As the chief expert on education for the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Jennings spoke at hundreds of meetings in the United States and representing the United States traveled to China, the former U.S.S.R., Italy, and other countries.

D. Degrees

A.B. History, Loyola University of Chicago, June, 1964

J.D. Northwestern University School of Law, June, 1967

E. Legal Qualifications

Former Member of the Legal Bars of the State of Illinois, the Federal 7th Circuit, and the District of Columbia.

Current Member of the Legal Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Publications and Other Media

A. Books

1. Fatigued by School Reform, Rowman and Littlefield, April, 2020.

(a) Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools: The Politics of Education Reform, Harvard Education Press, March, 2015. (FYI — author noted as Jack Jennings)
(b) Japanese translation of Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools including an added Epilogue bringing events to 2018, University of Tokyo Press, November 2018.

2. Why National Standards and Tests? Politics and the Quest for Better Schools, Sage Publications, April, 1998. (FYI — author noted as John F. Jennings)

3. Editor, National Issues in Education, a series of four books:

a. The Past is Prologue — May, 1993

b. Community Service and Student Loans — June, 1994

c. Goals 2000 and School-To-Work — January, 1995

d. Elementary and Secondary Education Act — July, 1995

B. Newsletters

Editor, Washington Newsletter, Phi Delta Kappa International, 1980’s – 2000’s

C. Articles

1. On LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Trump’s Plan for Education Fails the Smell Test” July, 2018. This is the latest of dozens of articles.

2. For the site, “Eulogy for Tom Wolanin”, presented at the Celebration of the Life of Thomas Wolanin, Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C. April 22, 2017.

3. For the School Administrator, “Overcoming a fear of politicians,” October, 2016.

4. For the Education Law and Policy Review, Volume 3, 2016

Fifty Years of Federal Aid to the Schools: Back Into the Future?”

5. For The American School Board Journal, “National Standards Now?”, September 2009

6. For the Phi Delta Kappan, the professional journal for education, where Mr. Jennings contributed

more articles than have been published by any other individual, including:

A. “It’s time to redefine the federal role in k-12 education,” Vol. 100, No. 1 (September 2018).

B. “ESEA at 50,”Vol. 96, No. 7 (April 2015): 41-46

C. “What has President Obama done?” Vol. 94, No. 2 (October 2012): 50, 52-54.

D. “The Policy and Politics of Re-writing the Nation’s Main Education Law”

Vol. 92, No. 4 (December 2010-January 2011): pp. 44-49.

E. “Ten Big Effects of the No Child Left Behind Act on Public Schools”

Vol. 88, No. 02 (October 2006): 110-113. Authored with Diane Stark Rentner

7. For Education Week

A. “Shifting School Reform from the Negative to the Positive, “February 25, 2015.

B. “Reaching Across the Ideological Aisle,” March 13, 2013.

C. “Title I-A Success,” January 26, 2013.

8. Articles also appeared in:

The Washington Post

Journal of Law and Education

Journal of the American Vocational Association

Journal of Education Finance

American Education


Education Times

School Business Affairs

Occupational Education Reform

Transcript (NASFAA magazine)

Bulletin (NAASP magazine)

Journal of Policy Analysis & Management

Dialogue (The Iowa School Board magazine)

Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis (AERA magazine)

D. Blogs/Opinion Pieces, Radio Interviews, and Webinars

From 2011 through 2017, Mr. Jennings had been a regular blogger/opinion writer on education topics for The Huffington Post, compiling over 50 postings. Some examples are “Trump’s Wrong About the Schools” (April 10, 2017), “A Reminder” (June 28, 2017), “Hope from the Young” (August 12, 2017), “How to Help the Rich, Harm the Schools, and Reap Political Revenge” (October 27, 2017), and “Advice for Democrats” (January 12, 2018).

The Washington Post made and distributed a video of an interview conducted on March 15, 2017, with Mr. Jennings on the topic of the reasons for and functions of the U.S. Department of Education. The topic was related to the controversy then occurring on the nomination of Ms. Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education.

“Will Education Flourish After NCLB’s Repeal?” appeared on December 18, 2015 as a piece written for The Blog of Harvard Education Publishing, Harvard Education Publishing Group.

On May 18, 2015, a webinar was sponsored on Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools by the Alliance for Excellent Education. In addition, AEE interviewed Mr. Jennings for six short interviews on topics related to the book. Those interviews are on AEE’s website and have also appeared on YouTube. The webinar also appears on that website.

“Rethinking ESEA at 50”, an article based on an interview with Mr. Jennings about Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools, appeared in the Harvard Education Letter in the May/June 2015 issue.

In late 2014 and in 2015, Mr. Jennings was interviewed about Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools by various radio stations: BAM Radio for the American Association of School Administrators on December 3; Harvard EdCast on March 25; National Public Radio on April 14; and Ed Talk Radio on April 23.

Societies and Professional Organizations

Member — National Academy of Education

Former Member — Phi Delta Kappa International Foundation, Board of Directors

Former Chair — Phi Delta Kappa International Foundation, Board of Directors

Former Member — Educational Testing Service, Board of Trustees

Former Member — The Pew Forum on Standards — Based Reform

Former Member — The Finance Project, Board of Directors

Former Co-Chair — Visionary Panel, State of Maryland

Former Member — Academic Intervention Panel, State of Maryland

Former Member — American Youth Policy Forum, Steering Committee

Former Member — Institute for Educational Leadership Policy Exchange, Resource Council

Former Member — American Education Finance Association, Board of Directors

Former Member — Educational Staff Seminar, Steering Committee

Former Member — Work in America Institute, National Advisory Committee on Literacy

Some Presentations from 2011 to 2018

July, 2018, Presenter, National Superintendents’ Roundtable, Summer Meeting, Rosemont, Illinois

June 25, 2018, Presenter, Skyline Village, Chicago, Illinois.

April 18, 2018, Presenter, Clare “University” at the Clare, Chicago, Illinois.

November 3, 2017, Presenter, Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland, Ocean City, Maryland.

April 29, 2017, Presenter, Why Continue An Old Assessment?, Seminar, National Assessment Governing Board, San Antonio, Texas.

March 2, 2017, Presenter, Why Continue An Old Assessment?, Conference on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, sponsored by the National Assessment Governing Board, Alexandria, Virginia.

January 30, 2017, Panelist, National Legislative Conference, Nation School Boards Association

November 19, 2016, Moderator, Panel on Journalism and Education, National Academy of Education

September 29, 2016, Speaker, Association of Educational Service Agencies

September 21, 2016, Speaker, Committee for Education Funding

September 21, 2016, Video, American Association of School Administrators

September 16, 2016, Presenter, Workshop, National Academy of Education

August 11, 2016, Presenter, Frederick County Maryland Public Schools

July 18, 2016, Speaker, George Washington University and the National Association of School Psychologists

April 27, 2016, Discussion, Education Policy Course session, Stanford University

April 11, 2016, Presentation on the new federal law, American Educational Research Association

March 9, 2016, Presentation on Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools, Cosmos Club

February 11, 2016, Presenter, National Conference on Education, American Association of School Administrators (AASA)

January 14, 2016, Presenter, board of directors, AASA

November 6, 2015, Presenter, board of directors, the Foundation of the National Education Association

October, 2015, Presenter, National Academy of Education

October, 2015, Presenter, the board of directors, Council for Exceptional Children

October, 2015, Presenter, National Superintendents Roundtable

September, 2015, Presenter, George Washington University policy class

July, 2015, Presenter, Center for American Progress meeting

July, 2015, Presenter, National Special Education Policy Conference

July, 2015, Presenter, Council of Policy-oriented Foundations meeting

May, 2015, Presenter, Institute of Public Policy, University of Chicago

May, 2015, Presenter, Institute of Education Leadership and AERA conference

April 2015, Presenter, Education Writers of America annual conference

April, 2015, Presenter, American Education Research Association annual conference

April 2015, Presenter, Official Release of Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools at the National Press Club

March 2015, Presenter, National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators

February 2015 Presenter, Legislative Conference, National Association of Elementary School Principals

January-March 2014, Lecturer of Public Policy in Education, George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, three major presentations

March 2013, Participated as an American representative at a conference on the legal and constitutional rights of racial and ethnic minorities in the European Community sponsored by the German government and the Center on Civic Education, held in Munich.

April 2013, Lecturer, George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development

July, 2013, Speaker at Columbia University’s summer institute on law and education

October 2013, Presenter, Horace Mann League annual meeting, recipient of distinguished service award

January 2012, Speaker at the Learning First Alliance, recipient of award for excellence

July 2012, Speaker at Columbia University’s summer institute on law and education

February 2012, Participated in the Horace Mann League special meeting

September 2011, Moderator at The American Education Research Association and National Academy of Education conference in Washington, D.C.

Some awards

National Superintendents’ Roundtable

Learning First Alliance

American Educational Research Association Distinguished Public Service Award

The National Association of Secondary School Principals

The National Association of Elementary School Principals

The Council for Exceptional Children

National Center for Research in Vocational Education

American School Food Service Association

National Defense University — Industrial College of the Armed Forces

National Association of State Councils on Vocational Education

Council for the Advancement of Citizenship — Board of Directors

American Association of School Administrators

American Association of Education Service Agencies

National Association of State Chapter 1 Coordinators

Massachusetts School Food Service Association

California Association of Administrators of State and Federal Educational Programs

The Chapter 1 Educators and Parents of Massachusetts

The National Center for Research in Vocational Education at the Ohio State University

American Association for Adult and Continuing Education

Association for Compensatory Educators of Texas

Association for Children with Learning Disabilities

Ohio’s Title I Directors and Division of Federal Assistance

The National Association of State Directors of Vocational Technical Education

Phi Delta Kappa International

National School Boards Association

Phi Delta Kappa District II Conference

National Association of Trade and Industrial Schools

Illinois Congress of Parents and Teachers — Honorary Life Member