Peter W. Cookson Jr., a prolific writer and sociologist, is a member of the Education Sector K20 Task Force. His knowledge of schools and education comes from a lifetime of teaching, researching, and working to improve the quality of education for all children. Peter teaches in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University. He was the founder of The Center of Educational Outreach and Innovation and TC Innovations at Teachers College. Currently, Peter is president of Ideas without Borders, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm specializing in 21st education innovation and human rights.
Peter is the author or co-author of more than 15 books on education reform and policy. His most recent publications include: “What Would Socrates Say?” (Educational Leadership, 2009); Sacred Trust: A Children’s Education Bill of Rights (Corwin, 2011); and “Is $600 Billion Enough?” (Wilson Quarterly, 2011). He is on the editorial board of The Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education (Sage 2012).
Forthcoming 2013 publications include: Hearts on Fire: Twelve Stories of Today’s Visionaries Igniting Idealism in Action (Random House); Blended Learning: Creating the Classroom of Tomorrow Today (ASCD); Exploring Education (Routledge) and The Great Unequalizer: Class and American Education (Teachers College Press).
Peter blogs for the Huffington Post and Whiteboard Advisors in Washington, D.C., where he serves as a senior advisor. He holds a Ph.D. in the sociology of education from New York University and a M.A. R. in ethics and world religions from the Yale Divinity School where he held the Katsuso Miho Scholarship in Peacemaking.
Peter’s wife, Susan, worked for many years as a family therapist and is now a professional artist. They have two children and four grandchildren.