Sharon F. Rallis is Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and Reform at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Previously, she was professor of education at the University of Connecticut; lecturer on education at Harvard; and associate professor of educational leadership at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. Her doctorate is from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has coauthored numerous books, including several on leadership: Principals of Dynamic Schools: Taking Charge of Change (with Ellen Goldring); Dynamic Teachers: Leaders of Change (with Gretchen Rossman); Leading Dynamic Schools: How to Create and Implement Ethical Policies (with Gretchen Rossman and others); and Leading With Inquiry and Action: How Principals Improve Teaching and Learning (with Matthew Militello and Ellen Goldring). Her numerous articles, book chapters, edited volumes, and technical reports address issues of research and evaluation methodology, ethical practice in research and evaluation, education policy and leadership, and school reform.
A past-president of the American Evaluation Association (2005) and current editor of the American Journal of Evaluation, Professor Rallis has been involved with education and evaluation for more than three decades. She has been a teacher, counselor, principal, researcher, program evaluator, director of a major federal school reform initiative, and an elected school board member. Currently, her teaching includes courses on inquiry, program evaluation, qualitative methodology, and organizational theory. Her research has focused on the local implementation of programs driven by federal, state, or district policies. As external evaluator or principal investigator (PI), she has studied a variety of domestic and international policy and reform efforts, such as alternative professional development for leaders; collaborations between agencies responsible for educating incarcerated or institutionalized youth; initiatives supporting inclusive education for children and youth with disabilities; local school governance and leadership; labor-management relations in school districts; and leadership development. Her work with students on evaluation and qualitative methodology has taken her as far as Afghanistan, Turkey, and Palestine.