About Us


The Teaching Lab team is dedicated to building a non-profit, teacher-led network that leverages grassroots organizing and research-based professional learning to serve all students, no matter their background or zip code.

We believe that an equitable education system can be built by collaborating with communities that educate traditionally undeserved students. Teaching Lab works to build local leadership and content expertise to develop the capacity of communities to sustain growth and development.  

Teaching Lab envisions a teaching profession where teachers, in collaboration, own and drive a culture of learning and continuous improvement in their instructional practice, impacting student achievement in disadvantaged communities in significant and measurable ways.

Our mission is to build a movement of teacher leadership focused on the professional learning to meet the need of all students.


Founders


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Silas Kulkarni - Executive Director

Silas Kulkarni is co-founder and Executive Director of Teaching Lab, a nonprofit devoted to closing the opportunity gap through teacher-led professional learning. Silas is a nationally renowned expert on the Common Core State Standards and professional learning. Before founding Teaching Lab, he worked as a literacy expert at Student Achievement Partners and as a record-breaking math teacher in Harlem, NY and Washington DC. In 2011, Silas’ students in Southeast DC broke the citywide, all-time record for 8th grade math scores, scoring 100% proficient or above, with 62% scoring advanced. He has presented, published research, and led trainings around the country. Silas is a graduate of Yale University.

“As a middle school math teacher in Washington DC, I was lucky enough to be part of a teacher-led community focused on improving our instruction. It worked! To this day, my middle school math students hold the citywide record for highest math test scores. This form of collaboration works and if we can engage more educators in these conversations, we can change our profession.

 

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Max Wagner - Director of Organizing

Max Wagner brings best-in-the-industry experience in grassroots teacher organizing.  After serving as a Teach for America corps member in Brooklyn, New York, Max has dedicated his career to empowering and elevating the teaching profession, working as an organizer for Educators for Excellence, the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns, and most recently Student Achievement Partners. His deep expertise in teacher-leadership underlies the viral growth of the Teaching Lab model.

“As an elementary special education teacher in Brooklyn, New York, I know the struggle of meeting the needs of all students every day. Leveraging the experience of classroom teachers and the best in researched based best practices, we can create resource for teachers, by teachers, that can be transformational for kids.”


Team


Ben Stolz - Organizing and Special Projects Consultant

Ben Stolz is an Organizing and Special Projects Consultant with Teaching Lab. He works with the Content, Organizing, and Senior Leadership Teams to provide strategic and logistical support. Ben is excited to join the team because he has a deep belief in what teachers can achieve for their students and school communities. 

He has worked in short- and long-term advocacy efforts as a Teach For America corps member in Brooklyn, manager of organizers at Educators 4 Excellence in NYC, and Organizer on the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. 

He was a 2015 StartingBloc Fellow and attended Leadership for Educational Equity’s 2016 Policy Leadership Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Messiah College.

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Margeaux Randolph - Business Consultant

Margeaux is a Business Consultant with Teaching Lab. She is also Vice President of Leadership Development at Reframe Labs, a non-profit incubator that supports diverse leaders to launch and design innovative schools. Prior to that, Margeaux co-founded, edDataZone, a consultancy focused on strategic planning, school market analysis, and school facilities planning for schools in California.

Previously, Margeaux served as director of the Louisiana state voucher program, and as a Senior Manager at Leading Educators, where she built data systems and supported expansion of teacher leadership development programs in New Orleans, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C. Margeaux has also served as a middle school math teacher as well as led implementation of math software programs in the Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Fontana Unified School Districts. In 2006,

Margeaux was a recipient of an American Planning Association Award, Proclamation from the City Council of New Orleans, and honored at the International Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy for her work on post-Katrina redevelopment.

Margeaux earned her undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Master of Public Policy from the University of Southern California.


Board of Directors


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Susan Pimentel - Co-author of the Common Core State Standards

Susan was a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy and is a Founding Partner of Student Achievement Partners. Susan also has led several national improvement efforts, including two multi-state adult education reform initiatives under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE), and the development of content for the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence—a rigorous discipline-specific national teacher test. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a law degree from Cornell University. Since 2007, she has served on the National Assessment Governing Board that advises on the nation's report card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

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Bryan Richardson - Co-founder of UPD Consulting

Bryan brings 15 years of public and private sector management experience. He has been recognized nationally as an expert in implementing complex management and technology reforms and for his expertise in the development and implementation of the Stat performance management processes. His engagements have included leading the development of performance management processes with school districts in Baltimore and Paterson, NJ, and state education agencies of New York, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. He has also served as an adviser to the US Department of Education on performance management and to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on personalizing teacher training, performance management, and education technology. Bryan led work in the Rhode Island Department of Education to develop seven inter-dependent data systems in parallel as part of the state’s Race to the Top Initiative. 

David Liben - Education researcher and Senior Content Specialist at Student Achievement Partners

David is the Senior Content Specialist of the Literacy and English Language Arts team at Student Achievement Partners. David has taught elementary, middle school, and high school students in public and private schools, as well as community college and teacher preparation courses, in New York City and Vermont. David still spends as much time as possible in schools with teachers and children. Together with Meredith Liben, David founded two innovative model schools in New York City - New York Prep, a junior high school in East Harlem, and in 1991, the Family Academy - where he served as Principal and lead curriculum designer. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in school administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Robert Sheffield - Director for California Initiatives at WestEd

As the Director for California Initiatives at the Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning at WestEd, Robert Sheffield focuses on strengthening implementation of the new content standards in California.

Previously, Sheffield served as Executive Director for District Implementation at the College Board. During his tenure, he led efforts to grow the reach and effectiveness of the SpringBoard program through school and district leader professional learning and coaching. Sheffield also led advisory councils and focus groups to ensure that teacher voice was reflected within the program’s design and delivery.

Sheffield received a BS in educational studies and U.S. history from Vanderbilt University and an MS in curriculum, instruction, and technology from Nova Southeastern University.

 

Ross Wiener - Vice President for education at the Aspen Institute

In his role at Aspen, Ross leads professional learning networks for urban school district leaders and senior Congressional Education staffers. The program assists policymakers and education leaders in strengthening human capital systems, supporting implementation of Common Core State Standards, and strategically reallocating financial resources. From 2002 to 2009, Ross worked as policy director and then as vice president for program and policy at the Education Trust, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to raising standards and closing achievement gaps in public education. Prior to Education Trust, Ross served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section.

Sarah Johnson - Program Officer, Exceptional Educators at Overdeck Family Foundation

Sarah joined OFF from the New York City Department of Education (DOE), where she was the senior adviser to the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. In her role, she consulted on strategy for a 600-person division and managed teams that created and implemented the Vision for School Improvement, a strategy and set of resources to accelerate student learning in all NYC schools, and coordinated teacher development and evaluation policy. Before her work at the DOE, she was a high school science teacher in Oakland, CA, where she established the school’s first Environmental Science Curriculum, co-innovated an online modifiable textbook initiative, and founded a social justice student leadership program. She has a Doctorate in Education Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an M.A.T. from American University, and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Neuroscience from Emory University.


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