Published in TC Today - Volume 31, No. 2
MaryEllen McGuire is living an education policy wonk's dream. As education policy advisor to Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, she'll be a key player in the process of reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
"This is where I've wanted to be for so long," she says--since just after college, in fact, when she "got the bug" after going to work for Nancy Wyman, then Chair of the Connecticut State Assembly's Education Committee. In between, McGuire taught for four years, worked for two senators and a former first lady and earned three TC degrees (an M.A., an M.Phil. and a Ph.D.) in--no surprise--Politics and Education.
McGuire's policy background makes her proficient, but it's her teaching experience and TC degrees that fuel her passion. "Having taught gets me even more excited about the issues," she says. "I've been on the ground floor. I know what teachers need, and I believe in the public schools. But work needs to be done. It's time to take NCLB to the next level. We've identified schools in need of improvement, now let's help them improve."