Jason Kamras (b. Sacramento, California) was selected as the 2005 National Teacher of the Year. He is the Chief of the Office of Human Capital and former director of human capital strategy for teachers in D.C. Public Schools, and was an adviser on education policy to the Barack Obama presidential campaign. Before that, he served as a seventh-grade mathematics teacher at John Philip Sousa Middle School in Washington, D.C. for eight years.
During his 9-year career, he has taught mathematics and social studies to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. After graduating from Princeton University summa cum laude with a degree in public policy in 1995, Kamras joined Teach For America, which placed him at Sousa. He piloted changes in the mathematics curriculum that helped the percentage of students scoring "below basic" on the Stanford 9 test to fall from 80 percent to 40 percent in one year.He successfully lobbied Sousa administrators to double the amount of class time spent on math. In addition, he is the founder of the EXPOSE camera club, which teaches students to use digital photography to depict their lives. This project earned him the Mayor's Art Award for Outstanding Contributions to Arts Education. Kamras earned his master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2000.
Kamras views teachers as civil rights activists. Sousa was segregated until a 1954 challenge to its status led to the desegregation of DC public schools. "To honor the school's unique role in the movement, I feel compelled to guarantee that it serves as an agent of social change, advancing those who have been ignored or constrained," he says. Kamras is also a digital rights advocate for teachers and believes every educator should have the same tools he uses: a laptop, Internet access, an LCD projector, inexpensive student-response devices for classroom polling, and a smart whiteboard for interactive classroom displays.
- "Teach For America program sends hundreds of teachers to Washington-area schools". Retrieved 2008-05-19.[dead link]
- "Jason Kamras". Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
- "Kamras is More than Just the Teacher of the Year". Harvard University.
- "Jason Kamras". Council of Chief State School Officers.
- Charlie Rose Jason Kamras is now a special assistant to the chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools
- Jason Kamras on Performance Pay
- C-SPAN Q&A interview with Kamras, May 8, 2005
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