Thomas Toch is a leading education policy expert and a highly regarded education writer.
Toch co-founded and co-directed Education Sector, a leading independent think tank in Washington, D.C. He shaped the organization’s strategic vision, recruited its senior staff, provided editorial and fundraising leadership, and authored several of the organization’s major reports in leading the organization for five years.
Previously, Toch spent three years as a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. He taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, served as a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and authored two books on American education, In the Name of Excellence (Oxford University Press) and High Schools on a Human Scale (Beacon Press).
Toch helped launch Education Week in the 1980s, serving variously as writer, commentary editor, and co-managing editor at the newspaper. He was writer-in-residence at the National Center on Education and the Economy and directed the organization’s policy work, and he was a researcher at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
He spent a decade as the senior education correspondent at U.S. News and World Report and has contributed to The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, The Wilson Quarterly, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Monthly. His writing has won numerous prizes, including the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Goldsmith Prize, the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, the Society for Professional Journalists Public Service Award, and numerous awards from the Education Writers Association. His work has twice been nominated for National Magazine Awards, the magazine industry's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes.
More recently, Toch served as executive director of Independent Education in Washington, D.C., a membership organization providing research, professional development, networking, government relations, and strategic initiatives to a diverse community of schools serving 35,000 students in metropolitan Washington.
At Independent Education, Toch rebranded the organization, introduced a partnership with Teach for America, launched a series of new professional-development institutes, and revamped the organization’s business model. He also traveled to China to establish a partnership with a Chinese foundation resulting in student and faculty exchanges and educational consulting contracts in major Chinese cities for metropolitan Washington independent schools.
Toch has spoken on education to a wide range of organizations and has been a guest commentator on education on such programs as the ABC Nightly News, Good Morning America, the CBS Morning News, Bloomberg TV, CNN, C-SPAN, Frontline, and National Public Radio.
Toch currently writes the monthly WashingtonView column for Kappan magazine and is a regular contributor to the National Journal’s Education Experts blog.
He is a cum laude graduate of Kenyon College and has a master's degree in English from the University of Toronto. Early in his career he taught at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. He lives with his family in Maryland and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-487-5841.