Brian Backstrom is President of the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability. Mr. Backstrom researches and writes on a variety of topics, including: charter schools, vouchers, education tax credits, and other school choice reforms; replication of “best-practices” curricular models, the implementation of creative school designs, and other innovative educational practices; and, the use and meaningfulness of standardized testing, comparisons of student performance, and other issues surrounding educational accountability.
Mr. Backstrom previously served as the Vice President for the Empire Foundation for Policy Research, a public policy think tank based in Albany, New York, that focused on state economic issues. Mr. Backstrom also has served as the Manager of Regulatory Policy & Operations in the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform, as the Director of Research for the New York State Legislative Commission on Public-Private Cooperation, and as an analyst in the governor’s Division of the Budget. Mr. Backstrom also has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the A Brighter Choice Scholarships program in the Capital District.
Mr. Backstrom, a Minnesota native, graduated cum laude from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, with a B.A. in Political Science and a M.S. in Public Policy Analysis.
B. Jason Brooks
B. Jason Brooks is the Director of Research and Communications at the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability. Mr. Brooks conducts research on a wide array of education policy issues, including the performance of public schools, innovations employed by charter schools, strategies used to raise academic achievement of disadvantaged student populations, and the implementation in New York State of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Mr. Brooks previously worked at the Empire Foundation for Policy Research, conducting research on a wide array of public policy areas including state tax and budget issues, debt reform, economic trends, and education reform. Among the projects on which he worked were monitoring the implementation of the public university system’s new core curriculum and spearheading a critique of the state’s high-school American history curriculum.
Mr. Brooks is a former member of the Advisory Board of the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education, as well as the boards of the national Syracuse University Alumni Association and the Alumni Club of the Capital District, where he served as the organization’s president from 2002 to 2005.
Mr. Brooks is a graduate of Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bjbrooksNY.