Ray Hart headshot

Ray Hart

Raymond C. Hart, Ph.D., is an impact-driven advocate for improving student achievement, policy governance, and system operations at all levels of education. He employs a unique combination of expertise as an Industrial Engineer, researcher, and educator, which has honed his ability to find solutions to complex problems and think strategically. Hart’s career has been focused on connecting the dots between people, data-driven strategies, and student outcomes. He has been a champion for urban school districts with members of Congress, the U. S. Department of Education, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and many other national, state, and philanthropic organizations.

Ray is currently the Director of Research at the Council of the Great City Schools where he serves as a multi-disciplinary leader to impact change for the Council’s 77-member districts. Hart leads the data analysis and research team, which works collaboratively across divisions (e.g., academics, operations, communications, legislation) on behalf of the nation’s urban school systems. At the Council, Ray launched the Academic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and managed the Males of Color Initiative which resulted in a partnership with President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program. He directed strategic support teams in academics, research, and other district operational areas across the country to improve outcomes and efficiencies. He has authored reports that led to improvements in the district, state, and national assessment practices; influenced the creation of offices that focus on equity and improving outcomes for young men and women of color; and highlighted the success of member districts in turning around their lowest-performing schools.

Prior to joining the Council, Hart was a Fellow at ICF International where he led the Analytic Technical Support Task Force for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory (REL). His role focused heavily on strengthening administrator and teacher effectiveness throughout districts in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Hart previously served as an executive director for the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) where he led the redesign of the research and assessment division. He also oversaw the district’s Title I, Race to the Top, and grant programs such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Effective Teacher in Every Classroom initiative. Prior to APS, Hart worked as an independent consultant following a series of academic and director-level roles at four different universities.

Ray earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in research, measurement, and statistics at Kent State University, Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction at Cleveland State University, and Bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. A native of Dallas, Ray, and his wife have four children and currently reside in Ashburn, Va.

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