Overview

Karen Symms Gallagher joined the USC Rossier School of Education in 2000. Under her leadership, Rossier has achieved a number of remarkable innovations in education. The School pioneered the practitioner-focused education doctorate, now a national model, more than a decade ago. Karen and her team have opened two LAUSD charter schools that provide a rigorous, technology-rich college preparatory education. In 2013, she was honored with USC’s inaugural Provost’s Prize for Innovation in Educational Practice.

We have to break the model that has kept us from changing what we know is not effective for far too many novice teachers.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?

My frustration with the national dialogue about teacher preparation and schools of education, and the opportunity to work with like-minded deans who accept the responsibility for the quality of our teacher-education graduates, who want to influence local, state and national policymakers and who want to change the dialogue about what it takes to prepare an effective teacher.


What is one pivotal moment in your career in educator preparation that left a positive impact on you or others?

Overseeing the development of the MAT@USC, a pipeline master’s degree with a California teaching credential for adults with a BA/BS who want to become a teacher. And also participating and leading the development and implementation of the Cincinnati Initiative for Teacher Education at the University of Cincinnati, working with the Cincinnati Board of Education and the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers.


What most excites you about the opportunity to transform the field of educator preparation in the years ahead?

That we are willing to risk failure, perhaps a very public failure, because the stakes for millions of school kids are so great – for the students personally, for their families and for all of us as citizens. We have to break the model that has kept us from changing what we know is not effective for far too many novice teachers.


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