Nonie K. Lesaux, PhD, is the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Lesaux leads a research program guided by the goal of increasing opportunities to learn for students from diverse linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds. Her research on reading development and instruction, and her work focused on using data to prevent reading difficulties, informs setting-level interventions, as well as public policy at the national and state level. The practical applications of this work are featured in numerous publications, including, Making Assessment Matter, a guide for instructional leaders, and a widely circulated state literacy report, Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success, that forms the basis for a Third Grade Reading Proficiency bill passed in Massachusetts. Dr. Lesaux is a recipient of the William T. Grant Scholars Award and of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to young professionals beginning their independent research careers.
Julie Russ Harris, EdM, is the manager of the Language Diversity and Literacy Development Research Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A former elementary school teacher and reading specialist in urban public schools, Harris’s work continues to be guided by the goal of increasing the quality of culturally diverse children’s learning environments. Most recently, projects in her portfolio include the development of literacy curricula and interventions and the design and implementation of innovative professional development programs and materials. With her colleagues, Harris has authored several publications, including book chapters, journal articles, policy briefs, and the widely circulated state literacy report, Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success, that forms the basis for a Third Grade Reading Proficiency bill passed in Massachusetts.