Michael Lach

Fellowship Placement: Capitol Hill
Cohort: 1999-2000

Dr. Michael Lach is the Director of STEM Education and Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Chicago, where he conducts research and provides technical assistance focusing on large scale improvements in mathematics and science education in the United States. Previously, he was appointed by Secretary Arne Duncan to lead science and mathematics education efforts at the U. S. Department of Education.

Michael began his professional career teaching high school biology and general science at Alceé Fortier Senior High School in New Orleans in 1990 as a charter member of Teach for America. After 3 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. After returning to the science classroom in 1994 in New York City Public Schools, and then back to Chicago in 1995, 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.

During his Einstein Fellowship, Michael advised Congressman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) on science, technology and education issues. He was the lead curriculum developer for the Investigations in Environmental Science curriculum developed at the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools at Northwestern University and published by It’s About Time, Inc. As an administrator with the Chicago Public Schools, he led the district’s instructional improvement efforts in science and mathematics in a variety of roles between 2003 and 2009, ultimately becoming Chief Officer of Teaching and Learning overseeing curriculum and instruction in 600+ schools. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Carleton College, master’s degrees from Columbia University and Northeastern Illinois University, and a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago.