Staff

Executive Director – Michael A. Rebell
Policy Director – Jessica Wolff
Policy Associate – Oluwaseun Animashaun
Research Assistant – Kendra Thompson

Michael A. Rebell

Michael A. Rebell is an experienced litigator, administrator, researcher, and scholar in the field of education law. He is the executive director of the National Access Network and of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he is also Professor of Law and Educational Practice. Rebell is also a member of the national Equity and Excellence Commission that is preparing a report that will be presented to the Secretary of Education and the Congress.

Previously, Mr. Rebell was the co-founder, executive director and counsel for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, and co-counsel for plaintiffs in CFE v. State of New York.  Mr. Rebell is the author or co-author of five books, and dozens of articles on issues of law and education.  Among his most recent works are Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts (U. Chicago Press, 2009); Moving Every Child Ahead: From NCLB Hype to Meaningful Educational Opportunity (Teachers College Press, 2008) (with Jessica R. Wolff), The Right to Comprehensive Educational Opportunity, 47 Harvard Civil Rts-Civil Lib. L. Rev. ( forthcoming, 2012), and Professional Rigor, Public Engagement and Judicial Review: A Proposal For Enhancing The Validity of Education Adequacy Studies, 109 TCHRS C.REC. 1303 (2007).

In addition to his research and litigation activities, Mr. Rebell is a frequent lecturer and consultant on education law. He is also currently adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and previously was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and for many years, a Visiting Lecturer at the Yale Law School.  Mr. Rebell is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

Jessica Wolff

Jessica R. Wolff is the policy director of the [National Education Access Network and the] Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University, and conducts policy research in educational adequacy and accountability and comprehensive approaches to educational opportunity. She directs the campaign’s Comprehensive Educational Opportunity Project, which includes a national policy development initiative, a statewide task force, and a curriculum development project.

Ms. Wolff is co-author with Michael A. Rebell of Moving Every Child Ahead: Beyond NCLB Hype to Meaningful Educational Opportunity (Teachers College Press, 2008) and co-editor (with Michael A. Rebell) of NCLB at the Crossroads: Reexamining Federal Efforts to Close the Achievement Gap (Teachers College Press, 2009), as well as author or coauthor of numerous articles and reports.

Ms. 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 she played a critical role in bringing the public voice into policy development. Her work with the Sound Basic Education Task Force on Accountability helped guide recent school funding legislation in New York State. Among other works, she is author of the series, In Evidence: Policy Reports from the CFE Trial. 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.

Oluwaseun Animashaun

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

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.