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Penny Bender Sebring


Co-founder, UChicago Consortium on School Research, The University of Chicago

Penny Bender Sebring is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Chicago and Founding Co-Director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research. She is the lead author of The Essential Supports for School Improvement, Charting Reform in Chicago: the Students Speak, and Charting Reform: Chicago Teachers Take Stock. She is co-author of Charting Chicago School Reform: Democratic Localism as a Lever for Change (Westview Press, 1998). At the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, Penny directed federally funded longitudinal studies of middle school and high school students. Penny was a Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher. She has published articles on a variety of topics, including students’ course-taking patterns in high school, urban education, school leadership, and the utilization of research and evaluation results.

She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Grinnell College, where she is a life member of the Board of Trustees. She received a Ph.D. in Education and Policy Studies from Northwestern University. Penny serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Public Education Fund, and she is a member of the Visiting Committee to the Division of Social Sciences, University of Chicago, and the Policy Advisory Board of the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University.

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