Phone: (703) 993-5079
Fax: (703) 993-3643
George Mason University
Thompson Hall 1306
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax, VA 22030
Prior to joining Masons Education Leadership Program faculty in 2009, Rob served 44 years as a K-12 public school educator, working as a teacher, building and central office administrator, and superintendent. He retired in July 2009, after serving 12 years as the Superintendent of the Arlington, VA Public Schools. Rob spent the preceding 16 years as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Services for the Spring Independent School District in the Houston, TX area. The first 16 years of his career occurred in the Frederick County, Maryland Public Schools where he performed a variety of roles including teaching high school social studies, heading an adult evening high school and a junior high school, supervising federal and adult education programs, serving as the superintendents assistant for planning and evaluation and directing K-12 curriculum and staff development.
Rob and his wife Sandy live in Arlington. They are the parents of two adult children and grandparents of five youngsters.
- Eliminating achievement gaps
- Superintendent decisions and achievement gaps
- Teaching for meaning
- Leading schools and school districts
- Professional learning communities
Smith, R.G. & Brazer, S.D. (2016). Striving for equity: District leadership for narrowing opportunity and achievement gaps Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Smith, R.G., Strand, P.J., Crawley, A., Cotman, T., Robinson, C. & Swaim, M. (2011). Gaining on the gap: Changing hearts, minds and practice. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
Bauer, S., Van Lare, M., Brazer, S. & Smith, R.G. (2015). Teacher leadership in collaborative teams: The importance of process. In P. Tenuto (Ed.), Renewed accountability for access and excellence: Applying a model for democratic professional practice in education (pp. 131-146). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
Bauer, S., Brazer, S., Van Lare, M, & Smith, R.G. (2013). Organizational design in support of professional learning communities in one district. In S. Conley and B.Cooper (Eds.) Teacher collaboration: Advancing professionalism & school Quality (pp. 49-80). New York: Rowman and Littlefield.
Van Lare, M., Brazer, S., Bauer, S. & Smith, R.G. (2013). Professional learning communities using evidence: Examining teacher learning and organizational learning. In S. Conley and B. Cooper (Eds.) Teacher collaboration: Advancing professionalism & school quality (pp. 157-182). New York: Rowman and Littlefield
Knight, S. & Smith, R. (2004). Development and use of a classroom observation instrument to investigate teaching for meaning in diverse classrooms. In H. Waxman, R. Tharp and R.S. Hilberg (Eds.), Observational research in U.S. classrooms: New approaches for understanding cultural and linguistic diversity (pp. 97-121). Cambridge University Press.
Smith, R.G. & Knight, S. (1997). Collaborative inquiry: Teacher leadership in the practice of creative intelligence. In R. Sinclair & W. Ghory, W. (Eds.), Reaching and teaching all students: Grassroots efforts that work (pp. 39-60). Thousand Oaks, CA. Corwin Press.
Smith, R.G. & Brazer, S.D. (2016). Superintendents' part in narrowing opportunity, achievement gaps. School Administrator, 73(5), 34-36.
Smith, R.G. (2015). Turning conventional wisdom on its head: Public schools outperform private schools. Harvard Education Letter, 31(1), Retrieve from: http://hepg.org/hel-home/issues/31_1/helarticle/turning-conventional-wisdom-on-its-head-public-sch
Smith, R.G. (2013). The promising practice of induction. Harvard Education Letter, 29(1), Retrieve from: http://www.hepg.org/hel/article/561#home.
Smith, R.G. (2012). Can brief interventions help reduce achievement gaps? Harvard Education Letter, 28(2). Retrieve from: http://hepg.org/hel/article/528.
Smith, R.G. (2012). Educating children of poverty: School action alone is not enough. Reading Today, 29(4), 31–32.
Smith, R.G. and Skeans, S. (2011) Using program evaluation to support academic excellence (The Informed Educator series) Alexandria, VA: Educational Research Service. Retrieved from: http://www.edreadysearch.org
Skeans, S. Smith, R. (2011) Seeing the whole: Seven decision points when you plan a program evaluation in your school district. The School Administrator, 68(11), 34-37.
Smith, R.G. (2010). Gaining on the gap. The School Administrator, 67(6), 21-24.
Knight, S., DeLeon, N. & Smith, R. (1999). Using multiple data sources to evaluate an alternative scheduling model. The High School Journal, 83(1), 1-13.
Smith, R.G. (1996). Fashioning effective solutions: The promise of school study teams. Equity and Excellence in Education, 29(1), 20-29.
Smith, R.G. (1994). Teacher study teams: A focused approach to school problem solving. ERS Spectrum, 12(3), 13-20.
Smith, R.G. (2016, October 20). School board effectiveness: A balanced governance approach. Review of the book Improving school board effectiveness: A balanced governance approach, by T.A. Alsbury and P. Gore. Teachers College Record, Retrieved from: http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 21687.
Smith, R.G. (2012, May 29). Book review: Smith on Narrowing the Achievement Gap. Education Week. Retrieved from:http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/bookmarks/2012/05/book_review_smith_on_narrowing_the_achievement_gap.html
Courses Taught This Semester
- Organizational Theory and Leadership (EDLE - 620)
- Internship in Educational Leadership (EDLE - 791)
- Independent Study for the Doctor of Philosophy in Education (EDUC - 897)
- Advanced Internship in Education (EDUC - 994)
- Doctoral Dissertation Proposal (EDUC - 998)
- Doctoral Dissertation Research (EDUC - 999)
Other Courses Taught
- Special Topics in Education (EDLE 597)
- Leading Schools and Communities (EDLE 610)
- Supervision and Evaluation of Instruction (EDLE 618)
- Contemporary Issues in Education Leadership (EDLE 634)
- Adult Motivation and Conflict Management in Education Settings: A Case Study Approach (EDLE 636)
- Using Research to Lead School Improvement (EDLE 690)
- Contemporary Organization Theory (EDLE 801)
- Social and Political Forces in Education Leadership (EDLE 813)
- Instructional Leadership-Curriculum Policy and Practice (EDLE 816)
- Instructional Leadership-Supervision Policy and Practice (EDLE 818)
- Leadership Seminar (EDUC 802)