The Common Core Institute

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Call: 630-282-1639          Email:
Center for College & Career Readiness
Center for College & Career Readiness
1S660 Midwest Rd.
Suite 310
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Call: 630-282-1639


Fax: 630-932-7868

Download W-9

The Center for College & Career Readiness, part of the Curriculum Improvement Institute, is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 research and training organization dedicated to the improvement of curriculum, instruction and assessment to increase college and career readiness skills across the globe. Partnering with publishers and private companies as well as government agencies, provincial and state education departments, and local districts and schools, the Center for College & Career Readiness is a global leader in the ceaseless efforts to move humanity forward by investing in human capital.

Kevin Baird, Chairman,

Kevin Kevin Baird began his career as a technology teacher, working with adult and alternative degree students to improve career readiness skills. Later representing Native American governments, he created education policy, presented to state and federal lawmakers, and helped to secure critical funding for education and health programs for rural populations. He is the founder and former Executive Director of several non-profit organizations focused on education, health care and the arts.

A leader in educational publishing, Mr. Baird served as Vice President with Renaissance Learning, publishers of Accelerated Reader, and as Vice President with Achieve3000, publishers of KidBiz3000 and TeenBiz3000, before building a successful media joint venture with the Chinese government. In those capacities, he led hundreds of educational consultants worldwide, has worked with schools on every continent excluding Antarctica, and has participated in some of the largest research studies in education ever conducted in reading, mathematics, and effective school leadership.

Today, Mr. Baird serves in a variety of education related posts through EdLead, his education fund and support organization. Kevin holds degrees in Sociology and Anthropology, holds an MBA in Global Management, is a Beinecke National Scholar, a Wingspread Scholar, and a member of the Secretary’s Circle of Phi Beta Kappa. He is a founder of the Center for College & Career Readiness and a regular speaker and consultant working with schools and districts to create effective school management systems and processes. Mr. Baird lives with his spouse and three children outside of Chicago.

Peg Portscheller, National Education Consultant

Peg Peg Portscheller, past Educator of the Year and Superintendent of the Year, brings real-world experience to leading curriculum improvement initiatives. For 15 years, she served on the board of the Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) and is currently a consultant with Focused Leadership Solutions. She has worked with Doug Reeves as the Chief Learning Officer for the Leadership and Learning Center, and has served as a union leader, teacher, and school administrator. Peg offers educators pragmatic and “doable” strategies for getting teachers, unions, and school leaders moving.

Dr. James Lehman

Kevin James D. Lehman is Professor of Educational Technology and Head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at Purdue University. He teaches classes on the educational applications of computers, technology integration in the classroom, interactive multimedia, and distance learning. His research interests include interactive multimedia design, technology-mediated distance learning, and technology integration in education particularly in the sciences. He is a co-author of the book Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning, now in its third edition, published by Pearson Education, and he has written numerous articles about the uses of technology in education. He was the Project Director of P3T3: Purdue Program for Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to use Technology, a PT3 implementation project funded by the U. S. Department of Education designed to enhance the preparation of future teachers to use technology.

Michael Rush, Executive Director

Michael Rush has served schools for more than 30 years as both a teacher and consultant. He has worked closely with expert educators, including Heidi Hayes Jacobs. He has traveled extensively helping school leaders better understand the operational curricula within their schools. Mr. Rush is experienced in Understanding by Design, Differentiated Instruction, and Project-Based Learning.