April 19, 2002

Respected researcher joins venture cap fund for education

CHICAGO—The Chicago Public Education Fund elected University of Chicago senior research associate and Consortium on Chicago School Research co-director Penny Bender Sebring to its board of directors today.

The Fund uses a venture capital model to invest in a limited number of high-impact programs and provide in-depth strategic management assistance to bring those programs to scale.

“Penny brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our board,” said Janet Knupp, president of The Fund. “She will play a pivotal role in providing advice to our program management teams, and helping The Fund measure its long-term impact on our teachers, principals, and students.”

To date, The Fund has raised $7.4 million toward a limited number of investments focused exclusively on improving school leadership through programs that recruit, develop and retain outstanding teachers and principals.

Sebring, an investor in The Fund since its launch in 2000, is the co-author of Charting Chicago School Reform: Democratic Localism as a Lever for Change, and the lead author of School Leadership and the Bottom Line in Chicago. She spent several years at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, where she directed longitudinal studies of middle school and high school students.

Formerly a Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher, Sebring is a graduate of Grinnell College, where she sits on the board of trustees. She earned her Ph.D. in Education and Policy Studies from Northwestern University.

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As a venture capital fund for public education, The Chicago Public Education Fund is an unprecedented catalyst for improving school leadership and student achievement system wide. Launched by a group of corporate and civic leaders, The Fund brings private sector dollars and expertise to high-impact programs aligned with Chicago Public Schools priorities. Find out more at www.cpef.org.