Academic Advisory Board

Academic Advisory Board

American Reading Company is honored to have won the trust of this group of renowned educators whose life work is dedicated to ensuring all children have the support needed to achieve at the highest levels of college and career readiness. Through their diverse accomplishments and reputations, the academic advisors will work with our team and our district partners to ensure that the American Reading Company programs continue to effectively address the needs of students at every level of learning in achieving academic success and college and career readiness.

Pedro Noguera, Ph.D.

Educator, Urban Sociologist, Author

Pedro Noguera, Ph.D.Pedro Noguera, Ph.D.

Dr. Pedro Noguera is an urban sociologist, his research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. Pedro Noguera is a Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA. He has previously held faculty appointments in the Departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, as well as in the Department of Sociology at New York University. Dr. Noguera is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). In 2008, he was appointed by the Governor of New York to serve on the State University of New York Board of Trustees.

Dr. Noguera has published more than 150 research articles, monographs, and research reports on topics such as urban school reform, youth violence, conditions that promote student achievement, the potential impact of school choice and vouchers on urban public schools, and race and ethnic relations in American society. In addition, he has authored and co-authored numerous books, most recently, Excellence Through Equity (Corwin, 2015) with Alan Blankstein and Race, Equity and Education: The Pursuit of Equality in Education 60 Years After Brown (ASCD, 2015) with Jill Pierce and Roey Ahram.

Dr. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.

Dr. Noguera has partnered with American Reading Company to curate the Best Books for Boys Collections, 50-book independent reading collections that speak to the identities and experiences of the most underrepresented students in American schools: boys of color.

Jim Cummins, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Jim Cummins, Ph.D.Jim Cummins, Ph.D.

Dr. Jim Cummins is a Professor with the department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at OISE. His research focuses on literacy development in educational contexts characterized by linguistic and socioeconomic diversity. In numerous articles and books he has explored the nature of language proficiency and its relationship to literacy development with particular emphasis on the intersections of societal power relations, teacher-student identity negotiation, and literacy attainment.

Dr. Cummins has authored and co-authored several books on literacies in education, most notably, Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire, and has seen his work translated into Japanese and Spanish. A significant contributor to bilingual education, Cummins has been the recipient of the International Reading Association's Albert J. Harris award, and he has also received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City.

Dr. Cummins currently holds editorial positions for numerous psychology journals, as well as having been a member of several advisory committees, including our very own Academic Advisory Board.

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D.

Associate Professor at SFSU, Founder of Roses in Concrete Community School & Community Responsive Education Group, Educator

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D.Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D.

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Raza Studies and Education at San Francisco State University. He is also the founder of the Roses in Concrete Community School, a community responsive lab school in East Oakland (, and the Community Responsive Education Group (CRE) working with schools and districts around the world to develop and support effective classroom and school cultures. As a classroom teacher and school leader in East Oakland for the past 23 years, his pedagogy has been widely studied and acclaimed for producing uncommon levels of social and academic success for students. Duncan-Andrade lectures around the world and has authored two books and numerous journal articles and book chapters on effective practices in schools.

Jeffrey Wilhelm, Ph.D.

Professor of English at Boise State University, Presenter, Author

Jeffrey Wilhelm, Ph.D.Jeffrey Wilhelm, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm is an internationally known teacher, author, and presenter. A classroom teacher for 15 years, Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm is currently Professor of English Education at Boise State University. He has been a professor for the past 20 years, achieving the rank of distinguished professor in 2013. He works in local schools as part of a Virtual Professional Development Site Network sponsored by the Boise State Writing Project, and regularly teaches middle and high school students. He is the founding director of the Maine Writing Project and the Boise State Writing Project.

He has authored or co-authored 37 texts about literacy teaching and learning. He has won the two top research awards in English Education: the NCTE Promising Research Award for You Gotta BE the Book (TC Press) and the Russell Award for Distinguished Research for Reading Don't Fix No Chevys and Reading Unbound. He has worked on numerous materials and software programs for students, including Scholastic's e21 and ReadAbout, and has edited a series of 100 books for reluctant readers entitled The Ten. Jeff enjoys speaking, presenting, and working with students and schools. He is currently researching how students read and engage with non-traditional texts like video game narratives, manga, horror, fantasy, etc., as well as the effects of inquiry teaching on teachers, students, and learning.

Jeff grew up on a small strawberry farm in Northeastern Ohio. He loved the Hardy Boys as a boy and has continued to love reading ever since, progressing through Hermann Hesse, John Steinbeck, and James Baldwin as literary mentors. In high school he was named a Harrier All-American for cross country and track. He was then a two-time Small College All-American in cross country. He has competed internationally in cross country, track, and nordic skiing. He now enjoys marathon nordic skiing and whitewater kayaking and is ready to complete his 25th Birkebeiner ski marathon and the Worldloppet marathon series!

Dr. Wilhelm has partnered with American Reading Company to curate the Be the Book Collections. Each collection includes 100 titles hand-selected from 250+ publishers based on the works of Dr. Wilhelm.

Alma Flor Ada, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita University of San Francisco; Award-Winning Author of Children's Books

Alma Flor Ada, Ph.D.Alma Flor Ada, Ph.D.

Dr. Alma Flor Ada is Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco, where she has been a Distinguished Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies in Multicultural Education. She has devoted her life to promoting a pedagogy oriented to personal realization and social justice, a mission now carried on by her former students in their own positions as teacher educators. The founder and first editor-in-chief of NABE, the journal of the National Association of Bilingual Education, Dr. Ada has long been a visionary in the field of bilingual/dual language education. A former Radcliffe Scholar at Harvard University and Fulbright Research Scholar, she is an internationally renowned speaker.

With a Ph.D. in literature and a lifelong love of stories, Alma Flor Ada is the author of more than 200 children's books of poetry, narrative, plays, and nonfiction. Her books have received many prestigious awards, including the Christopher Medal, the Pura Belpré Medal, and the NCSS-CBC Notable Book Award. In 2012, she received the very prestigious Virginia Hamilton Award. Dr. Ada's A Magical Encounter: Latino Children's Literature in the Classroom is one of her many pedagogical publications. She has received numerous recognitions for her contributions to education, including the American Education Research Association (AERA) Hispanic Issues Award for Research in Elementary, Secondary, and Postsecondary Education, 2008; the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008; the California Council for Higher Education 2011 Award; and the American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education Literary Award, 2012.

Alma Flor Ada partners with ARC to design Spanish programs and classroom libraries for bilingual, dual language, and world language classrooms.

F. Isabel Campoy, Lic.

Award-Winning Author of Hispanic Literature, Educational Advocate, National Speaker

F. Isabel Campoy, Lic.F. Isabel Campoy, Lic.

F. Isabel Campoy has authored numerous children's books of poetry, theater, stories, biographies, and art. As a researcher she has published extensively, bringing to the curriculum an awareness of the richness of the Hispanic culture. She is an educator specializing in the area of literacy and home/school interaction, topics on which she lectures nationally. An internationally recognized scholar, she is devoted to the study of language acquisition, a field in which she started publishing in 1973 after obtaining her degree in English Philology from Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, and doing postgraduate work at Reading University in England and at UCLA in the United States. Her work in collaboration with Alma Flor Ada in promoting authorship in students, teachers, and parents is the topic of their book Authors in the Classroom: A Transformative Education Process. Campoy is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Junior Guild Award, ALA Notable Book Award, San Francisco Library Award, and the 2005 Reading the World Award from the University of San Francisco.

F. Isabel Campoy joins ARC to incorporate multicultural perspectives and shape ARC's Spanish book collections.

Robert Probst, Ph.D.

Educator, Speaker, Author

Robert Probst, Ph.D.Robert Probst, Ph.D.

Robert (Bob) Probst is the author of Response and Analysis; coeditor (with Kylene Beers and Linda Rief) of Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise Into Practice; and coauthor (with Beers) of Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading.

Bob began his teaching career as a high school English teacher and then became a supervisor of English for a large district in Maryland. He spent most of his academic career at Georgia State University, where he is now Professor Emeritus of English Education. After retiring from Georgia State University, he served as a research fellow for Florida International University. He now consults with Kylene Beers in school districts across the United States.

Bob has served as a member on the Conference on English Board of Directors, as a National Council of Teachers of English journal columnist, and as a member of the NCTE Commission on Reading. He speaks nationally and internationally to administrators and teachers on literacy issues, particularly issues surrounding struggling readers and meeting standards, including the Common Core State Standards.

Bob joins ARC and Dr. Beers as a partner in developing Hook Book and Exemplar Text Libraries.

Irvin Scott, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education

Irvin Scott, Ph.D. Irvin Scott, Ph.D.

Dr. Irvin Scott joined the faculty of Harvard Graduate School of Education during the summer of 2016. At Harvard, Scott's concentration is educational leadership. Before coming to Harvard, Scott served for five years as the deputy director for K-12 education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led the investment of $300 million in initiatives focused on transforming how teachers are recruited, developed, and rewarded. This work was built on existing efforts that were occurring in the Gates Foundation's Intensive Partnership. At the Foundation, Scott also led a team to initiate the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers experience, which has become a teacher-driven movement and can be found in a majority of states across the country.Dr. Scott's foundation work focuses on transforming how teachers are recruited, developed, retained, and rewarded. He also leads a portfolio of work focused on supporting teachers and ensuring that their voices inform the education reform dialogue. Research has shown that effective teachers are the single most important factor in a student's success.

Dr. Scott is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, for both his MA in Policy and Management and his Ed.D. in the Urban Superintendents Program.

Ron Walker

Executive Director of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color

Ron WalkerRon Walker

Ron Walker, the founding Executive Director of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), is also the former Associate Director of ATLAS Communities, a comprehensive school reform organization working with more than 100 schools across the country in urban, suburban, and rural school districts. Mr. Walker shared responsibility with the director for leadership and management of ATLAS activities and staff. He managed the delivery of services to selected districts and worked in tandem with the director of outreach, marketing, and related fund-raising and development efforts. He identified and negotiated strategic alliances that strengthened ATLAS' organizational capacity and had primary responsibility for the development and management of the annual Principals Institute and related leadership activities. Prior to Atlas, Ron was a principal in Cambridge, Massachusetts, public schools for nine years; a vice principal in Belmont, Massachusetts, public schools for four years; and a middle school teacher in Philadelphia public schools for ten years.

Mr. Walker is the recipient of the Black Educators Award for Professional Service in Education (1995) and the Liberating Vision Award presented by the National Council of Negro Women (1997). He was the recipient of a $60,000 grant from the Mott Foundation to reconnect African American communities and their schools in Boston, Philadelphia, Oakland, and Baltimore. Mr. Walker was the recipient of a Harvard University Gates Fellowship for senior-level education change coaches and served as a coach with the Change Leadership Group. He continues to coach principals through Boston College's Lynch Leadership Program and as a consultant to schools and districts on equity and culturally responsive school management. Mr. Walker was also nominated for the Manifest Award by Ebony magazine and the Open Society Foundation. This award is designated for individuals making a positive difference in the education of African American male students. He serves on numerous boards that address community-based and education issues, and he brings 45 years of educational experience, passion for the affirmative development of all students―especially male students of color―along with his calm judgment and inspirational vision to his leadership of COSEBOC.

Kathy Escamilla, Ph.D.

Professor of Education

Kathy Escamilla, Ph.D. Kathy Escamilla, Ph.D.

Dr. Kathy Escamilla is a Professor of Education in the division of Social, Bilingual and Multicultural Foundations. Dr. Escamilla's research centers on educational issues related to Spanish-speaking language minority students in U.S. schools. She is specifically interested in issues related to the development of bilingualism and biliteracy in early elementary grades for this Spanish speaking population. Her recent research has also examined assessment practices and the impact of high stakes testing on these children.

Dr. Escamilla is a member of numerous professional organizations in education and has served two terms as the president of the National Association for Bilingual Education. She has recently been appointed as a co-editor of the Bilingual Research Journal, and has served as the chairperson of the Bilingual SIG for the American Education Research Association (AERA). She has authored two books and over 50 research articles on topics related to literacy and biliteracy for Spanish speaking children in the U.S.

Manuel Escamilla, Ph.D.

BUENO Equity Assistance Center, Director

Manuel Escamilla, Ph.D. Manuel Escamilla, Ph.D.

Dr. Manuel Escamilla is currently the director of the BUENO Equity Assistance Center for Region VII at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Kansas and has been a professor of Bilingual Education in California and Arizona, he served as the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs at the University of Arizona and at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He has also directed Head Start programs in Denver, Conejos-Costilla County and HuŽrfano-Las Animas Counties in Colorado.

Alicia Grunow

Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

Alicia Grunow Alicia Grunow

Alicia Grunow is a senior partner and director of the improvement science and analytics groups at Carnegie. In that role, she oversees the core capacities that support all networked improvement communities: analytics, developmental evaluation, design and development, program technologies and improvement research.

Alicia completed the Improvement Advisor program at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in 2011 and currently leads the Foundation's efforts to adapt these methodologies for the field of education. Towards this end, she teaches improvement workshops and coaches improvement teams both in and outside of the organization.

Before coming to Carnegie, Alicia was an instructor in Stanford's Teacher Education Program (STEP), where she taught practices to support the academic achievement of English language learners. Her research at Stanford used a range of quantitative methodologies to examine policy issues regarding English language learners. Alicia received her B.A. in psychology from Reed College. She has a master's degree in economics and a doctorate in educational administration and policy analysis from Stanford University. Before graduate school, she taught for seven years in transitional bilingual and dual language elementary school programs in both Denver and New York City. She completed the Bilingual and ESL Teachers Leadership Academy at Bank Street College. At the core, she will always identify as a practitioner.

Ofelia García

Professor, Urban Education, Graduate Center of the City University

Alicia Grunow Ofelia García, Ph.D.

Ofelia García is Professor in the Ph.D. programs of Urban Education and of Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures (LAILAC) at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has been Professor of Bilingual Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Dean of the School of Education at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University, and Professor of Education at The City College of New York. Among her best-known books are Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective; Translanguaging; Language, Bilingualism and Education (with Li Wei, 2015 British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Award recipient). Her recent books (2016-2017) include The Oxford Handbook of Language and Society (with N. Flores & M. Spotti); Encyclopedia of Bilingual and Multilingual Education (with A. Lin & S. May), The Translanguaging Classroom (with S. I. Johnson & K. Seltzer); Translanguaging with Multilingual Students (with T. Kleyn). Prior to 2016, García’s books include Educating Emergent Bilinguals (with J. Kleifgen), Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity (with J. Fishman), Negotiating Language Policies in Schools: Educators as Policymakers (with K. Menken), Imagining Multilingual Schools (with T. Skutnabb-Kangas and M. Torres-Guzmán), and A Reader in Bilingual Education (with C. Baker). She is the General Editor of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language and the co-editor of Language Policy (with H. Kelly-Holmes). García was co-principal investigator of CUNY-NYSIEB ( from its inception in 2011 until 2016. García’s extensive publication record on bilingualism and the education of bilinguals is grounded in her life experience living in New York City after leaving Cuba at the age of 11, teaching language minority students bilingually, educating bilingual and ESL teachers, and working with doctoral students researching these topics. In 2016 García received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bank Street Graduate School of Education, and in 2017 she received the Charles Ferguson Award in Applied Linguistics from the Center of Applied Linguistics, and the Lifetime Career Award from the Bilingual Education SIG of the American Education Research Association. In 2018 she was appointed to the National Academy of Education and received The Graduate Center Excellence in Mentoring Award.

Honorary Member: Paulo Freire (1921-1997)

Educator, Author

Paulo FreirePaulo Freire

American Reading Company honors Paulo Freire and his teachings which align with ARC philosophy.

Brazilian educator and a leading advocate of critical pedagogy, Freire is best known for his influential work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which is considered one of the foundational texts of the critical pedagogy movement.

“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” ― Paulo Freire

Source: Wikipedia

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