Forum Executive Director Announces Retirement

It is with regret but warm wishes that the Board of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform announces the retirement of Dr. Deborah Kasak as Executive Director effective January 1, 2016. Dr. Kasak has provided thirteen years of devoted service as the Forum’s only executive director. The Forum is indebted to Dr. Kasak for her commitment to middle grades education. Her positive attitude and ability to engage all stakeholders to speak with a common voice to leverage research, policy, leadership, and replicable model practices to drive middle-grades reform has resulted in the recognition of the work of the National Forum. Her tireless efforts on behalf of middle-grades students and educators leave the Forum in a position to continue the quest for a strong middle-grades educational experience for all students. Her work with the Forum’s signature initiative, Schools to Watch® is known throughout the nation, and her vision and leadership in the development and execution of the Forum’s 2010 and 2013 U. S. D. E. Investing in Innovation i3 Development Grants is a tribute to her contributions to the National Forum.

Please join the Board in extending best wishes to Dr. Kasak as she starts a new chapter in her life.

A search for Dr. Kasak’s replacement is underway. More information about the position can be found at this LINK.

Linda Allen, President of the National Forum

Irvin Howard, Immediate Past President of the National Forum



 The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform is an alliance of over 60 educators, researchers, national associations, and officers of professional organizations and foundations committed to promoting the academic performance and healthy development of young adolescents.

In order to prepare students to be lifelong learners ready for college, career, and citizenship, the National Forum seeks to make every middle grades school academically excellent, responsive to the developmental needs and interests of young adolescents, and socially equitable.

To accomplish its goal of improved academic and developmental outcomes for all students in the middle grades, the Forum identifies and disseminates best practices, articulates and promotes effective policies, recognizes and develops enlightened leadership, and informs and engages the public.  Read more . . .

Through its Schools to Watch® (STW) program, the Forum has developed criteria for identifying high-performing middle-grades schools, created tools to help schools use the criteria, expanded the program to 18 states, and selected and honored over 350 successful schools across the country during the Annual STW Conference.  Join the initiative become a Schools to Watch State.