Erika spent a decade as a teacher and school dean before becoming a full-time education advocate. She is particularly focused on inequities in the system, persistent but surmountable achievement gaps, and what she sees as a culture of low expectations that disproportionately impacts low-income students of color.
She is the mom of three young sons and you can often find her on the sidelines of their countless sports practices, games, and orthodontist appointments. She is committed to the belief that zip code isn’t destiny, that parents deserve choices when it comes to educating their children, and that too many “good” schools are falling down on the job in too many ways. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she now calls Rhode Island home with her boys, her husband, and her fluffy dogs, Griffey and Gracie. She writes about all things education (and some things motherhood) here at Good School Hunting, co-hosts a podcast called Planet Mom Radio, and is a senior visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
In her spare time, when she isn’t at her boys’ games or searching for their uniforms head-first in the hamper, she can be found watching Law & Order marathons or shopping on Groupon or at TJ Maxx.
In her own words:
“While I occasionally cook big batches of good food, I can often be found wrapping hot dogs in crescent rolls and and trying to stop my kids from throwing their vitamins out the front door in the morning. (“I’m just checking the weather, mom,” he says.) Do I like hiking? Not really. Do I crochet or knit? No. Am I a cyclist or runner? Definitely not—though I did just buy a BowFlex that I’m hoping will turn around my habit of buying workout equipment and never using it. That’s me. An imperfect mom. And I kind of wish I had more hobbies, but mostly because I feel outside pressure to have them. What I really care about is helping kids get a better education and making sure they’re safe at school. Yup, that’s what I really love to do.”