Why I GO
"Schools should truly serve all students and school systems should be responsive to the communities that they serve. Our work tips the balance of power in favor of students and families allowing them to claim their rightful place at the policymaker’s table. "
Thomas Maffai

Thomas Maffai

Managing Director

I got my start in education as a high school teacher in a largely immigrant community in Miami. Through the lens of my students, I saw the deeply personal impact of policy decisions made at every level of a system that stacks the odds against them. Since leaving the classroom, I have continued to fight against those odds leading school improvement efforts – as a social worker, district leader, and policy director.

Why public education?

Both of my parents were lifelong public school teachers. They taught me that education is not just how an individual student can get ahead in life, but it’s also how families can break generational poverty and how communities unite people across their differences and expand opportunity for all. 

Favorite quote and why?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – The simplicity and urgency of this question posed by Mary Oliver pushes me to examine whether my daily decisions truly align to what I value most in life. 

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