Amy Wilkins Joins National Alliance as Senior Vice President of Advocacy
Seasoned education advocate brings decades of bipartisan, child-focused expertise to charter school movement.
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) today welcomed Amy Wilkins to its senior leadership team. Wilkins – most recently of The College Board and Education Trust – will serve as the organization’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy. In this role, Wilkins will lead a cross-section of teams to achieve federal policies that allow more high-quality charter public schools to start, expand, and thrive – providing families with more public school options.
“I am honored to have an experienced advocate and friend like Amy join our team,” said Nina Rees, National Alliance President and CEO. “Amy brings a wealth of experience to the National Alliance. Her unapologetic advocacy for low-income students, her no-nonsense style, and her passion for education as a key lever to eradicating poverty are just some of her many qualifications.”
Wilkins began her career as a community organizer in Springfield, Massachusetts in the early 80s, before beginning a nearly decade-long tenure at the Children’s Defense Fund – where, among other accomplishments, Wilkins helped pass a key child care and development block grant, and pushed candidates to address children’s issues in the 1992 election. She next worked on health care legislation for the Democratic National Committee, led public forums on child care for the U.S. Department of Labor, and served as Acting Director for the White House Office of Media Affairs.
In 1995, Wilkins joined The Education Trust, where for the next sixteen years she would lead the student advocacy organization through key milestones – working to safeguard Title II of the Higher Education Act so that teachers have funding for preparation and training, shape aspects of No Child Left Behind to protect our most vulnerable students, and increase the visibility of pre-K as a priority issue.
“At Ed Trust, Amy worked effectively on behalf of low-income students and students of color—students whose needs are too often ignored by too many. I know she will do the same at the National Alliance,” said Kati Haycock, The Education Trust Founder and recently retired CEO. “She’s a tough-minded, clear-eyed —sometimes sharp tongued— fierce advocate for high-quality education for all of America’s students. The National Alliance and the students they serve are lucky to have her in their corner.”
Wilkins was named Senior Fellow for Social Justice at The College Board in 2013, where she led efforts to increase AP enrollment among high achieving African American students, and addressed the achievement and attainment gaps separating middle class African American students from their white peers. Her new role at the National Alliance is a natural continuation of this work.
“Charter schools play a critical role in delivering on our nation’s promise of a free, high-quality public education for all students,” said Amy Wilkins, National Alliance Senior Vice President of Advocacy. “I’m honored to join the National Alliance and continue my work to help improve educational and life outcomes for students whose needs are too often overlooked. There is exciting, and essential, work to be done to give more families access to public school options that lift their children up.”
Charter schools are unique public schools created to fill a need within a community. To meet this need and foster student achievement, charter schools are given the flexibility to be more innovative while being held accountable for improved student outcomes. They are independent, tuition-free public schools open to all students. Families choose to send their child to a charter school because they are seeking a school that meets their unique needs – and when given the option, parents increasingly are choosing to enroll their children in charter public schools. In most communities, the demand for charter schools is far outpacing the supply. What began as a small movement in a couple of states has grown into a major force in education reform. Today, 44 states and Washington, D.C. have charter school laws – empowering over 3 million students to attend more than 6,900 charter schools across the country.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.