Innovative education leader Rae Ann Knopf to take the reins of new education advocacy group

NEW HAVEN, CT – The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) today named Rae Ann Knopf as its first Executive Director.

Knopf is currently the Deputy Commissioner of Education Transformation and Innovation for the Vermont Department of Education. She has a broad range of experience in the field of education and has a proven track record of initiating successful education reform efforts throughout her career. As Deputy Commissioner, Knopf led a restructuring of the Vermont Department of Education and a redesign of the state’s outdated system of standards and accountability with an eye toward closing achievement gaps and providing high-quality educational opportunities to all of the state’s students. She also fostered strong collaboration among Vermont’s education stakeholders, which allowed the Green Mountain State to have a say in some of President Barack Obama’s recent national education reforms.

“Rae Ann’s strong leadership and vision truly moved Vermont forward,” said Armando Vilaseca, Commissioner of Education in Vermont. “Her work took our department and Vermont’s education system to a place that allows for better and more access for all students to become successful. She will be greatly missed and we wish her all the best.”

CCER is a statewide non-profit focused on driving comprehensive education reform to narrow the achievement gap while improving educational outcomes for all of Connecticut’s students. CCER was born out of the 2010 Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement, which produced a comprehensive set of recommendations on how to close the state’s achievement gap. CCER brings the business and civic voice to education issues in Connecticut.

“Rae Ann Knopf is the perfect leader at the perfect time,” said Peyton R. Patterson, Chair of the CT Council for Education Reform. “Her experience guiding teams in results-oriented education reform efforts will serve us extremely well. Rae Ann understands the reform issues we are focused on here in Connecticut and she is the right person to establish CCER as a leading voice in the education reform movement.”

“Taking the helm of the CT Council for Education Reform is a tremendous opportunity, said Knopf. “The stars are aligned in Connecticut for true education reform and I am excited to lead the Council’s efforts to strengthen this state’s educational system and create opportunities for each child in the Nutmeg State to be prepared for the 21st century and beyond.”

Knopf was chosen after a nationwide search.