Peter Cunningham

Peter Cunningham, Executive Director of Education Post

Staff

Executive Director, Education Post

Chicago, Illinois

Peter Cunningham is the executive director of Education Post. He recently served as assistant secretary for communications and outreach in the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama Administration’s first term. Prior to that he worked with Arne Duncan when he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.

Peter is affiliated with Whiteboard Advisors, a DC-based education policy, research and communications firm. He serves on several non-profit boards, including Oakland-based Great Schools, which provides school quality information to parents through a national on-line platform, The Montessori School of Englewood, a Chicago public charter school, Manufacturing Renaissance, a career education program that trains public high school students for jobs in manufacturing, Unbounded, an organization supporting teachers in schools that are transitioning to higher standards, and Foolproofme.com, which is focused on financial literacy for students.

Peter founded Cunningham Communications, serving public, private and non-profit clients, worked for political consultant David Axelrod, and was a senior advisor and speechwriter for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

A native New Yorker, Peter began his career as a journalist with small weekly newspapers in New York. He earned an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in Philosophy from Duke University. He is married to artist, Jackie Kazarian, and they have two adult children who are proud graduates of the Chicago Public Schools.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Oct. 23, 2017

Bill Gates’ Education Priorities Reflect His Respect for the Field

In the last 17 years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $3.4 billion dollars to improve public education.…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Oct. 9, 2017

Education Is the Surest Path Out of Poverty, Even If The Atlantic Reports Otherwise

One of the favored tactics of education reform opponents is to blame underperformance of schools on problems we cannot easily…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 28, 2017

High Hopes Despite Low Expectations: Welcome to Oklahoma

For education reform to flourish, you need political leadership to change laws and policies, educational leadership with a clear vision…

By Erika Sanzi, Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 18, 2017

I Got to Be a Fly on the Wall in a Room Full of Teachers

On a recent afternoon, I spent two hours listening to eight public school teachers talk about their work. All but…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 12, 2017

Don’t Get Angry, Get Eva

Somehow, while managing a sprawling network of public charter schools serving 15,000 children, engaging in the day-to-day political combat of…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 10, 2017

Education, Politics, Media and Chicago

Paraphrasing Yogi Berra, education in Chicago is 50 percent teaching and learning and 90 percent money and politics. No matter…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Sep. 5, 2017

4 Things Every Blogger Can Do to Improve Education in America

September 1 marked Education Post’s three-year anniversary as a public voice for improving public education. From the start, our goal…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Aug. 31, 2017

Americans Support Testing: Someone Tell PDK

PDK International has been polling on the subject of education for decades, releasing annual reports that generate a lot of…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Aug. 15, 2017

One Progressive Education Reformer’s Manifesto in the Age of Trump

Chalkbeat recently reported about a March meeting of progressive education reformers where former Education Secretary Arne Duncan encouraged charter leaders…

By Peter Cunningham

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Posted Aug. 2, 2017

The Teacher Leadership Movement Just Gained a New Champion

“The teacher leadership movement needs to be front and center in closing opportunity and achievement gaps,” says Roberto Rodriguez, President…

By Peter Cunningham

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Featured Posts

Posted Nov. 13, 2017

The Worst Thing About Being a Homeless Student Was the Hunger

Have you ever been so hungry that it caused you physical pain? I’m not talking the kind of hunger that sneaks up when you’ve realized…

By Lizzy Shoben

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Posted Nov. 10, 2017

Could This Teacher and Leadership Program Be Part of the ‘Secret Sauce’ for Chicago Schools?

In most urban school districts, “turnaround” is a dirty word. Turnaround schools are first identified as failing and left to languish for some time in…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Nov. 13, 2017

I Didn’t Want My Students to Have to Choose Between Hunger and Making Friends

I have a weakness. I’m not good at saying no. Last summer, I was invited to attend a focus group on school breakfast at the…

By Angela Homan

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