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Michael C. Lach, U.S. Department of Education

Michael C. Lach is currently special assistant, STEM Education, U.S. Department of Education. Lach previously served as officer of teaching and learning, overseeing curriculum and instruction in the 600+ schools comprising the Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third largest school district. He began teaching high school biology and general science in 1990 at Alce Fortier Senior High School in New Orleans as a charter member of Teach for America, the national teacher corps. After three years in Louisiana, he joined the national office of Teach for America as director of program design, developing a portfolio-based alternative-certification system that was adopted by several states. Returning to the science classroom in 1994 in New York City Public Schools, and in 1995 at Lake View High School in Chicago, he was named one of Radio Shack’s Top 100 Technology Teachers, earned National Board certification, and was named Illinois Physics Teacher of the Year. Lach has served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, advising Congressman Vernon Ehlers (Mich.) on science, technology, and education issues. He was lead curriculum developer for the Investigations in Environmental Science curriculum developed at the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools at Northwestern University, published by It’s About Time, Inc. As an administrator, he led the Chicago Public Schools’ efforts in science and mathematics instruction in a variety of roles between 2003 and 2007. He has written extensively about science teaching and learning for publications such as The Science Teacher, The American Biology Teacher, and Scientific American. Lach earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Carleton College, and master’s degrees from Columbia University and Northeastern Illinois University.