Board of Directors
Alex Medler has been a national expert on charter school policy since the opening days of the movement, analyzing the first laws in 1992. He is Senior Director of the National Charter Schools Resource Center (NCSRC), which is operated by Safal Partners under contract to the U.S. Department of Education. Previously, he directed policy and advocacy for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). Read More.
Robin Lake is Director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington, and is nationally recognized for her research and analysis of U.S. public school system reforms, including charter schools and charter management organizations, innovation and scale, portfolio school districts, school turnaround efforts, and performance-based accountability systems. Read More.
Cliff Chuang, Board Treasurer
Cliff Chuang currently serves as the Senior Associate Commissioner for Educational Options at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. He leads the Department’s charter school authorizing work and school redesign initiatives, including innovation schools and expanded learning time. The Department has been recognized as a national leader in its robust approach to access and equity issues in charter schools, both in its role as an authorizer/regulator, and in the way it partners with the field in research and support initiatives. Read More.
Kristin Wright has a long history in public service. After a 5-year stint as a legislative staffer in the California State Assembly, Kristin spent numerous years serving Sacramento's homeless population at Volunteers of America where she worked with individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
After taking time off to raise her children, Wright returned to public service – this time with her focus on education. Read More.
William Bethke is a founding partner of Kutz & Bethke, LLC, and Cottonwood Charter Consulting LLC. Bill has practiced as a civil rights attorney, labor arbitrator and education law attorney, principally in Colorado, since 1978. He has represented and provided strategic guidance to charter schools since 1994, participating in the founding of multiple charters. Bill was a founder of Rocky Mountain Deaf School and Global Village Academy, where his granddaughter attends the Mandarin immersion program. Read More.
Professor Garda teaches contracts, commercial transactions, international commercial transactions, employment discrimination, legal methods, and scholarly writing. He is the author of numerous articles and reports on education law. His recent articles appear in the North Carolina Law Review, Florida Law Review and Journal of Law & Education. His legal scholarship covers a variety of topics including: the rights of disabled students, affirmative action, integration in K-12 education, special education spending and legal issues surrounding charter schools. Read More.
Jon Rosenberg is an experienced social sector leader, education program developer, and civil rights lawyer, who currently serves as President and CEO of the Hebrew Charter School Center. He has previously served as CEO of Repair the World (a service-learning organization), Executive Director of Roads to Success (a career and college readiness program) and ROADS Charter High Schools, and in senior staff roles at Edison Schools Inc., The Children’s Aid Society, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Read More.
Mashea Ashton is the Founder and CEO of Digital Pioneers Academy, a new charter school proposed for Washington, DC in Fall 2018. Mashea recently returned back to the Washington, DC area after spending the last 20 years implementing and scaling the best practices in urban education across the country, after starting her career as a special education teacher in Williamsburg, Va and Washington, DC. Mostly recently, Mashea served as the CEO of the Newark Charter School Fund, where she oversaw a $48 million initiative to support the quality growth of charter schools. Read More.
In addition to being a partner at Civil Rights Solutions, Renita Thukral serves as the Sr. National Legal Advisor at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In these roles, she leads and grows a national network of charter school attorneys known as “The Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys”; provides technical assistance and training to charter school operators, authorizers, attorneys and advocates seeking to improve school-level civil rights policies and practices; addresses fiscal equity and labor issues confronting charter schools; provides litigation and strategic assistance to state partners considering litigation; and supports charter school advocates and operators seeking to improve their regulatory and authorizing environments. Read More.