Press Release

NCTAF President Tom Carroll to Retire March 1

Melinda G. George to be Named President; Former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and former Education Commission of the States President Ted Sanders Re-elected Co-Chairs

Media Contact:

Karen Cheeks

Washington, DC – After serving as the President of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) for 12 years, Tom Carroll is retiring on March 1. Carroll will continue to support NCTAF’s mission as President Emeritus. 

“Building on 12 years as NCTAF’s President, I believe the time is right to begin an encore career that will balance my commitment to innovative teaching and learning with rewarding family time,” said Carroll.   “I am confident that I am leaving NCTAF in the capable hands of our dedicated commissioners and staff who will continue to advocate for a new teaching and learning paradigm that ensures that all children experience quality teaching in schools organized for success.”

NCTAF will build upon its solid legacy as a strong proponent for teaching by advocating support for educators through collaboration and teamwork, new tools and technology and personalized growth and learning. These key areas are critical to improve education for children across the United States in this time of global competition and educational reform.

Former U. S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and former Education Commission of the States President Ted Sanders have been unanimously re-elected as Co-Chairs of NCTAF, and the Commission has appointed its current Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Melinda George, to become the new President.

“Both Ted and I are delighted for Tom. Even as he moves into this next stage of life, it is wonderful that he will be available to continue to offer his insight and wisdom to the NCTAF staff and commissioners,” said Secretary Riley. “I am also excited about the future of NCTAF.  We are at an important moment in education when NCTAF’s voice will help emphasize the critical role that teaching plays in the improvement of learning for all children.”

During his tenure, Carroll tirelessly traveled the country to raise visibility about innovation in education, teamwork and collaboration in high performing organizations, educator development, deployment of community resources in schools, and integration of technology in teacher professional learning and pedagogical practice. He spearheaded several research reports that influenced the national dialogue around supporting and strengthening the teaching profession, including the No Dream Denied report, which shifted the national conversation from teacher recruitment to teacher retention; and The Cost of Teacher Turnover study which encouraged school districts to look at how much money is lost due to teacher churn. In addition, NCTAF released several reports under Carroll’s direction that discussed the importance of teachers working in collaborative environments, so that they can be supported and grow as professionals.

“Tom has simply done a marvelous job. It has been a delight to witness NCTAF’s growth, and I look forward to being a part of this new chapter,” said Linda Darling Hammond, NCTAF’s founder and a current commissioner. “Given NCTAF’s history of high quality research, thought leadership and recent demonstration project work, the organization is well-positioned to make an even greater impact on the teaching profession in the years to come.”

Melinda George joined NCTAF in 2011. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in the DC Public Schools. George has since worked as the first Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), and Senior Director of Education Strategic Relations at PBS.

“Melinda has been a great asset to NCTAF, and we look forward to working with her as NCTAF approaches its 20th anniversary later this year,” said Secretary Riley. “There are a lot of changes happening in education and this is an exciting opportunity for NCTAF to engage in the national debate on behalf of America’s teachers.  We know we can count on Melinda’s leadership to guide the Commission’s policy work in the weeks, months, and years ahead.”



The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) was founded in 1994 to ensure that every child has access to quality teaching in schools organized for success. In partnership with national, state, and local education agencies, NCTAF develops prototypes for innovative teacher preparation, collaborative teaching teams, and strategies to leverage community engagement, sharing the impact of these programs with those who influence education legislation and policy.  Preparing the next generation of learners is a demanding job that no teacher should be expected to tackle alone.


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