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William Hays Parrett

William H. Parrett is the Director of the Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies and Professor of Education at Boise State University. He has received international recognition for his work in school improvement, small schools, alternative education, and for his efforts to help youth at-risk. His professional experiences include public school and university teaching, curriculum design, principalships and college leadership, media production, research, and publication.

Parrett holds a Ph.D. in Secondary Education from Indiana University. Parrett has served on the faculties of Indiana University, the University of Alaska, and Boise State University. As Director of the Boise State University Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies (1996 to present), Parrett coordinates funded projects and reform initiatives which exceed $1.2 annually. His research on reducing achievement gaps and effective schooling practices for youth at risk and low performing schools has gained widespread national recognition.

Parrett is the co-author of, The Kids Left Behind: Teaching the Underachieving Children of Poverty, , Saving Our Students, Saving Our Schools (2003), Hope Fulfilled for At-Risk & Violent Youth (2001), How to Create Alternative, Magnet, and Charter Schools that Work (1997), Hope at Last for At-Risk Youth (1995), Inventive Teaching: Heart of the Small School (1993), The Inventive Mind: Portraits of Effective Teaching (1991), and numerous contributions to national journals and international and national conferences.

Parrett’s media production, Heart of the Country (1998), is a documentary of an extraordinary principal of a village elementary school in Hokkaido, Japan, and the collective passion of the community to educate the heart as well as the mind. Since its release, the production was nominated for the Pare Lorentz Award at the 1999 International Documentary Awards (Los Angeles, CA); has won the Award of Commendation from the American Anthropological Association, a Gold Apple Award for best of category at the National Education Media Network Festival (Oakland, CA), a National CINE Golden Eagle Award (Washington, D.C.), and a Judges’ Award at the 24th Northwest Film Festival (Portland, OR). In addition, Heart of the Country was an invited feature and screened at the Cinema du Reel festival in Paris (1998) and the Margaret Mead Film Festival (1998) in New York City. This work has received critical acclaim for its cinematography and insight into the universal correlates of effective teaching and learning and the power of community participation in public schools.

Parrett has also served as visiting faculty at Indiana University, the University of Manitoba, Oregon State University, Hokkaido University of Education (Japan), Nagoya Gakiun (Japan), Gifu University (Japan), and Heilongjiang University (People’s Republic of China). His consultancies include state departments, boards of education, state and regional service providers, and school districts in thirty-five states and ten nations.

Throughout his career, Parrett has worked to improve the educational achievement of all children and youth, particularly those less advantaged. Toward this goal, he has authored proposals which have raised over eight million dollars in external funding to create programs and interventions designed to help educators, schools, communities, and universities benefit from research and best practices. These efforts have positively impacted the lives of thousands of young people.