New head of U. of C. schools effort

Staff Writer

John W. Gasko has been named the new chief executive officer (CEO) of UChicago Impact, the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute’s (UEI) not-for-profit arm. He will officially begin his role at the Urban Education Institute on Feb. 17.

The UEI, which was founded in 2011, has created several school improvement tools currently being used in classrooms in 55 major cities across 23 states.

“John’s expertise across sectors and his enthusiasm for innovations that improve the life outcomes of children will lead UChicago Impact in its next phase of development — bringing tools that improve teaching, learning and leadership to significantly greater scale,” said Timothy Knowles, John Dewey director of UEI.

Gasko is currently serving as the associate director of the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Prior to joining the Children’s Learning Institute, Gasko was the Director of Research and Public Policy for the Children’s Defense Fund in Austin, Texas, and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies at Hofstra University. He began his education career as a classroom teacher and Dean of Academics in San Antonio, Texas.

Gasko said he is thrilled to have the opportunity as CEO to work with such a committed board of directors and broad range of talented leaders and staff.

“Urban schools have shown their willingness to establish ambitious goals for student achievement but they frequently lack the supports, innovations and tools required to transform the rhetoric to reality,” Gasko said. “Given its current track record of success and expanding footprint across urban America — and its core ability to draw on UEI’s rich resources to develop rapid responses to the needs of the education marketplace — UChicago Impact is exactly the right organization to help schools break down the barriers behind the stubbornly elusive achievement gap.”