Nancy Doorey | Teachers College Columbia University

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Nancy Doorey

Nancy Doorey is a mid- career educator pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership through the Inquiry Program.

Nancy Doorey is a mid- career educator pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership through the Inquiry Program. She has been in the field of education for about 20 years in elementary, secondary and higher education and served on the Delaware State Board of education during the beginning years of the reform effort in the state.  She now serves on a local board of education in Delaware where she is trying to implement several reforms.   Her professional work has centered on teacher quality and teacher supply.  In 1998, in a "white" paper she wrote and submitted to leadership in the mid-Atlantic region, the elected administrative leadership and the educational leadership, she discussed the upcoming teacher shortages.   Nancy believes everyone should work collaboratively across state boundaries if teacher quality can be enhanced. She sees a need to have  increased classroom quality and teacher reciprocity  and she is currently looking at meritorious new teachers credentials.  With this meritorious award they can be certified in all the states throughout the mid Atlantic region for the lifetime of their license. 

Teachers awarded this certification would have to be extremely high performing.


In 1981, local school districts in northern Delaware came under the most pervasive court ordered desegregation in the country.  Eleven school districts were erased, the court merged them into one giant metropolitan district and then divided them into four school districts. Nancy has been on the board for one of the districts. Legislature then passed a law saying that kids can be assigned to schools only based on their geographic location. Nancy knew that this would be devastating.   She worked with the community to understand more about the impact of high poverty schools and their subsequent influence on student learning.  The board that Nancy was on then asked the community to vote on what they wanted, and 70 percent of the community voted to maintain busing in order to maintain quality of education for all kids.  An article about how the board conducted that process was published in the December 2002 Educational Leadership.



Doorey chose TC because it is one of the top programs. The Inquiry Program's schedule of classes allows her to commute from Delaware.  She said she would have never had the tools to analyze the situation in Delaware if she were not here at TC.   Her coursework was incredibly helpful in a practical sense because it deals with the real issues faced in public education.  "How do leaders help bring about consistent ongoing improvement?" 


Her dissertation will examine how high stakes accountability for teacher performance affects attrition rates among teachers.

Published Thursday, Apr. 3, 2003