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Andy Smarick was formerly a partner at Bellwether Education Partners. Prior to joining Bellwether, Andy was the deputy commissioner of the New Jersey State Department of Education. Previously, he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and an Adjunct Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. From 2008 - 2009 he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education where he helped manage the Department's research, budget, and policy functions. From 2007 - 2008, Andy served at the White House in the Domestic Policy Council, working primarily on K-12 and higher education issues. Prior positions include: Chief Operating Officer for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, legislative assistant to a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and aide to members of the Maryland state legislature. Andy helped found a college-preparatory charter school for disadvantaged students in Annapolis, and he was a member of Maryland Governor's Commission on Quality Education. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, National Review Online, Education Next, and other outlets. He is a former White House Fellow and earned a bachelor's degree, summa cum laude and with honors, and a master's degree in public management from the University of Maryland. He has recently written about the federal stimulus, school turnarounds, charter schools, and the decline of inner-city faith-based schools, and he is completing work on a book about rebuilding America's urban public school systems. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Aspen Institute-NewSchools Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.