Andy Smarick

Bernard Lee Schwartz Senior Policy Fellow

Andy Smarick, a partner at Bellwether Education Partners, is a Bernard Lee Schwartz senior policy fellow with the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He works in Bellwether’s Thought Leadership practice. Most recently, Andy served as deputy commissioner of education of the State of New Jersey where he helped lead initiatives including the state’s successful ESEA waiver and Race to the Top 3 applications, the launching of new teacher evaluations, and an overhaul of the department’s charter school authorizing. Andy previously served as deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education and at the White House Domestic Policy Council, and has worked for Congress and the Maryland state legislature. Other roles include distinguished visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and chief operating officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Andy helped launch a college-preparatory charter school for under-served boys and girls in Annapolis, and he was a member of the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Quality Education. His book, The Urban School System of the Future, will be released in 2012, and his articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, Education Next, National Affairs, and other outlets. His areas of research include school turnarounds, teacher quality, charter schools, performance pay, district reform, and Catholic schools. Andy is a former White House fellow, member of the 2010-11 class of Aspen Institute-NewSchools Fellows, and founding board member of 50CAN. He earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude and with honors, and a master’s degree in public management from the University of Maryland. Andy lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey with his wife and three kids.

The Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellows are accomplished experts whose efforts assist with widening our range of expertise and impact in the policy and media spheres. Our fellows post regularly on their respective blogs, commenting on Fordham’s priority areas of “doing more with less” (i.e. delivering quality education in an era of tight budgets), rethinking education governance (and the attendant politics of school reform), smart implementation of the Common Core, and school choice and charter schools.

Bernard Lee Schwartz was a businessman and portrait photographer, whose work can be found at

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