Michael A. Rebell is Executive Director of the Campaign for Educational Equity and Professor of Law and Educational Practice at Teachers College. Previously, Mr. Rebell co-founded and served as Executive Director of The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), which won a major constitutional ruling on behalf of New York City public schools. Mr. Rebell is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the education adequacy movement in the United States and has pioneered the legal theory and strategy of educational adequacy. In the last 15 years, this legal strategy has proven successful in almost 75% of the cases challenging a state’s failure to provide students with a sound, basic education. Mr. Rebell has also litigated numerous class-action lawsuits especially on behalf of students with disabilities, including the landmark New York State case, Jose P. v. Mills. He has written two books (Equity and Education and Education Policymaking and the Courts) and several dozen articles on a wide range of education issues, including educational equity, education finance, testing, rights of disabled students and dropout prevention. In addition to his research and litigation activities, Mr. Rebell is a frequent lecturer and consultant on education law. Mr. Rebell is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.
Jessica R. Wolff is the policy director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University. She leads CEE’s policy research initiatives, develops and implements its public engagement projects, and directs its communications efforts. She is a coauthor of the recent reports, Securing the Future of New York’s Children: Final Steps Toward Truly Universal Pre-K (2014) and Making Prekindergarten Truly Universal in New York: A Statewide Roadmap (2013), as well as author or co-author of two books and numerous articles and reports on education policy.
Wolff has long been involved in public education as an advocate, writer, educator, and active public school parent. From 2000-2005, she served as director of policy development of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), where her work with the Sound Basic Education Task Force helped guide school-funding legislation in New York State. Prior to CFE, she wrote widely on public school issues for the Public Education Association and, for many years, authored a monthly column on public education for the award-winning online news journal Gotham Gazette. Wolff is a longtime board member and former board chair of the Children’s Museum of the Arts and parent of two NYC public school graduates. She has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from New York University.
Oluwaseun Animashaun is the Policy Associate at ACCESS. She graduated from Harvard College in 2014 with a B.A. in History and Literature and a Teacher’s License for 5th – 12th grade History. Prior to her time with Access, Oluwaseun was involved with youth nonprofit and education work. She was a co-chair of Youth in Action and a founding Steering Committee member for Youth 4 Change Alliance – both nonprofits/coalitions dedicated to youth development and civic engagement – in Providence, RI. She was a writer of Providence’s Youth Bill of Rights, which has since become a pivotal organizing platform. As an undergraduate, she worked as a tutor and as a student-teacher for public school students as well as led several on-campus organizations.
Kendra Thompson-Mitchell, a first-year Education Policy doctoral student in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University, is a Research Assistant at Access. Kendra is interested in educational policies affecting youth who have come to be in the ward of state governments by virtue of their interaction with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
Kendra received her B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science from Hampton University, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Upon graduation from law school, she practiced as a business and litigation lawyer in the private sector, and also completed a fellowship with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, where she focused her efforts on the Institutionalized Persons Project. During her fellowship, Kendra assisted in leading an investigation into the quality and quantity of education afforded to children in Youth Centers throughout the state of Illinois. This fellowship provided the fertile ground from which Kendra’s current research and professional interests sprang.