Cami Anderson

Cami Anderson

equity in education, equal opportunities, transformative approaches
Thirdway Solutions, formerly Superintedent for Schools in New York City and Newark, Executive Director of Teach for America
United States of America
almost 30 years in the field ef equity and equal opportunities

About Cami Anderson

Cami Anderson, Founder and CEO of ThirdWay Solutions

I worry deeply about this incredibly dysfunctional story we tell ourselves that we have to solve poverty before we can create excellent schools, and that young people should be doomed to terrible schools as a result of poverty. Poverty impacts students’ readiness to learn and their home life. But I have schools in Newark where you can go to three different 5th grade classrooms and see radically different results. And studies have shown that being even in a mediocre teacher’s classroom vs an excellent teacher’s classroom leads to radically different educational outcomes, let alone a really bad teacher vs an excellent teacher. Schools in the same neighbourhood, with kids from the same social class, with the same challenges, get dramatically different results. There are schools and teachers that are showing that education excellence is absolutely attainable and as a result of that are able to break intergenerational cycles of poverty. But it is the exception and not the rule. And if it can happen anywhere, it should happen everywhere. And I am so worried we don’t believe it!

Great teachers can have a humongous effect on children.

Cami Anderson is a passionate and an established leader in education reform who has spent more than 30 years relentlessly cutting through outdated systems and brass-knuckle politics to push change. In that time, she has taken on roles from teacher to non-profit executive to system-wide administrator. She has coached over 25 CEOs to attain previously unthinkable goals. She served for more than a decade as Superintendent of schools, first in New York City and then in Newark, putting in place key reforms that have led to notable increases in outcomes for all students in the once-struggling district. She was responsible for accelerating innovation, initiating public private partnerships at unprecedented levels, and setting a new national model for the transformation of urban education in America. She received wide-scale recognition for her work with the city’s most struggling students.

Anderson also served as executive director of Teach for America New York, where she founded a board of business and education leaders, increased teacher quality, and launched Teach for America Week. She also served as Chief Program Officer for New Leaders for New Schools, which was recognized by Harvard Business School, Education Week, the US Department of Education, and the Teaching Commission as one of the most effective principal preparation programs in the country.

Ms. Anderson also boasts a diverse background as a Montessori educator, youth theatre director and athlete. She has been recognized for her dedication to expanding educational opportunities and empowering youth throughout her career. Anderson was nominated for a national Teacher of the Year award, received the Peter Jennings Award for her impact on educational equity, belongs to the Aspen Global Leader Network, and was recently named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”