Susan Fuhrman

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Fuhrman, Susan
President Emerita
Professor Emerita, Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis
Founder and Principal, Consortium for Policy Research in Education
Organization & Leadership

Educational Background

Dr. Fuhrman earned a B.A. in History, with highest honors, from Northwestern University in 1965; an M.A. in History from Northwestern University in 1966; and a Ph.D. in Political Economy from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1977. She wrote her dissertation at Teachers College on "The Classification of Roll Call Votes in New Jersey."

Scholarly Interests

Dr. Fuhrman's research interests include state policy design, accountability, deregulation, and intergovernmental relationships. She has also conducted research on state education reform, state-local relationships, state differential treatment of districts, federalism in education, incentives and systemic reform, and legislatures and education policy. She leads and conducts research through the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), which receives significant support from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and private funding sources. 

Biographical Information

Dr. Susan Fuhrman is Past-President of Teachers College, Columbia University, founding Director and Chair of the Management Committee of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), and immediate Past-President of the National Academy of Education. Dr. Fuhrman’s substantial leadership track record includes her term as Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education from 1995-2006, where she was also the school’s George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education. Dr. Fuhrman was influential in creating a new university-assisted public school as part of Penn’s West Philadelphia improvement initiative. Similarly, the Teachers College Community School and an education and social services partnership with a number of other public schools are intended to bring University leadership for neighborhood school improvement to West Harlem.

Dr. Fuhrman serves on the Board of Directors of the Hawn Foundation and is a Trustee of the Committee on Economic Development and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She is a former Vice President of the American Educational Research Association as well as a former Trustee Board member of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She served as a non-executive Director of Pearson plc, the international education and publishing company from 2004-2013.

Dr. Fuhrman received undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in political science and education from Teachers College and Columbia University. Her work focuses on enhancing the quality of education research, accountability in education, intergovernmental relationships, and standards-based reform, and she has written widely on education policy and finance. Among recent books are The State of Education Policy Research (with David K. Cohen and Fritz Mosher, 2007); and The Public Schools (The Institutions of American Democracy Series, with Marvin Lazerson, 2005). Dr. Fuhrman’s work has been recognized by a wide variety of international, national, state, and local organizations.

Selected Publications

Fuhrman, S., Cohen, D., & Mosher, F. (Eds.) (2007). The State of Education Policy Research. Routledge.

Fuhrman, S., & Lazerson, M. (Eds.) (2005). American institutions of democracy. The Institutions of American Democracy series. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fuhrman, S. (2004). "Less than meets the eye: Standards, testing and fear of federal control." In N. Epstein (Ed.), Who's in charge of the schools? The tangled web of education power and policy. Denver andWashington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Elmore, R. & Fuhrman, S. (Eds.). (2004). Redesigning accountability. New York: Teachers College Press.

Fuhrman, S. (2003). "Riding waves, trading horses. The twenty-year effort to reform education." In D.T. Gordon (Ed.), A nation reformed? American education 20 years after A Nation At Risk (pp. 7-22).Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Fuhrman, S. (2003). Redesigning accountability systems in education. CPRE Policy Briefs. Philadelphia, PA: Consortium for Policy Research in Education.

Fuhrman, S. (Ed.). (2001). From the Capitol to the classroom: Standards-based reform in the States, One hundredth yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. Chicago: University of ChicagoPress.

Carr, M. & Fuhrman, S. (1999). "The politics of school finance." In Making Money Matter: Equity and Adequacy in Education Finance. National Academy of Sciences Press.

Fuhrman, S. & O'Day, J. (Eds.). (1996). Rewards and reform: Creating educational incentives that work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.