Allan R. Odden is Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He also is co-director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), a consortium of the University of the Wisconsin–Madison, Teachers College-Columbia University and Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Stanford Universities. He is also director of Strategic Management of Human Capital in Education, a project focused on talent management in education. He formerly was professor of Education Policy and Administration at the University of Southern California (USC) and director of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), an educational policy studies consortium of USC, Stanford University, and the University of California–Berkeley.
Odden is an international expert on education finance, school-based financing, resource allocation and use, strategic management of talent in education, educational policy, school-based management, teacher compensation, district and school decentralization, 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 its Distinguished Service Award in 1998. He has 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), and Vermont (2011–12).
Over the past five years, together with partner Lawrence Picus, he has conducted adequacy studies for Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. He has directed research projects on school finance redesign, resource reallocation, the use of resources by educational strategy at the school level, the costs of professional development, and teacher compensation. 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 also 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.
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Odden was a mathematics teacher and curriculum developer in New York City’s East Harlem for five years. He received his PhD and MA degrees from Columbia University, a master’s of divinity from the Union Theological Seminary, and his BS in aerospace engineering from Brown University.