CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

Allan Odden

Co-Director, CPRE

Professor Emeritus Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis; Director, Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Professional Biography

Allan Odden is Director of Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC) in public education, a project of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). SMHC seeks to improve student performance through talented teachers and school leaders and improved instructional practices produced by SMHC, focusing initially on large urban districts. He also is Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Co-Director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). CPRE is a consortium of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pennsylvania, Harvard, Michigan, Northwestern, Teachers College-Columbia University, and Stanford Universities. He formerly was professor of education policy and administration at the University of Southern California (1984-1993) and Director of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), an education policy consortium of USC, Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley.

He is an international expert on the management of human capital in education, teacher compensation, education finance, school-based financing, resource allocation and use, resource reallocation, educational policy, school-based management, and educational policy implementation. He worked with the Education Commission of the States for a decade, serving as assistant executive director, director of policy analysis and research, and director of its educational finance center. He was president of the American Educational Finance Association in 1979-80 and received AEFA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1998. He served as research director for special state educational finance projects in Connecticut (1974-75), Missouri (1975-77), South Dakota (1975-77), New York (1979-81), Texas (1988), New Jersey (1991), Missouri (1992-93), the Joint Interim Task Force on School Finance Adequacy in Arkansas (2003, 2005), the Wyoming Select Committee on Finance (2005, 2010), Washington Learns (2006), Wisconsin (2005-2007) and North Dakota (2007-08). He was appointed Special Court Master to the Remand Judge in the New Jersey Abbott v. Burke school finance court case for 1997 and 1998. He has worked on teacher compensation changes in dozens of states and districts. He currently is directing research projects on the strategic management of human capital in public education , school finance adequacy, school finance redesign, resource reallocation in schools, the costs of instructional improvement and teacher compensation. Odden has written widely, publishing over 250 journal articles, book chapters, and research reports, and 35 books and monographs. He has consulted for governors, state legislators, chief state school officers, national and local unions, The National Alliance for Business, the Business Roundtable, New American Schools, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Secretary of Education, many local school districts, the state departments of education in Victoria and Queensland, Australia, and the Department for Education and Employment in England.

His recent books include School Finance: A Policy Perspective (McGraw Hill, 2013, 5th Edition); Improving Student Learning When Budgets Are Tight (Corwin, 2012); Strategic Management of Human Capital in Education (Routledge, 2011).

He was a mathematics teacher in New York City’s East Harlem for 5 years. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University, a Masters of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary and his B.S. in aerospace engineering from Brown University.

Areas of Expertise

  • School finance equity and adequacy
  • Effective use of resources in schools
  • Teacher compensation and evaluation