Dr. Peter McFarlane

Dr. Peter L. McFarlane is the Vice President and Chief Program Officer of REACH.   He is also a Senior Academic Facilitator for REACH and is available to work with potential clients.  As a SAF, Peter works directly with REACH clients to provide face-to-face, electronic, and phone consultation aligned to leadership development and school improvement efforts.

He is currently the Senior Program Director of School Innovation of for the New York State Education’s Department Regents Research Fund.  As the Senior Program Director, he works in collaboration with the Senior Fellow of School Innovation as a thought partner who reports directly to the New York State Commissioner of Education and the New York State Board of Regents.  His work encompasses a number of key policy and statewide initiatives that include NYS Expanded Learning Time, the NYS Rewards School Grant Initiative, NYS Certification Program, NYS Professional Learning Community Initiative, and The Strategic Plan for School Excellence.  His primary work centers on supporting Focus and Priority Schools and Districts around their school improvement efforts.  In 2012, he was also a Think Tank working Group Facilitator during the creation of the Diagnostic Tool For School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE).  All schools and districts identified by the New York State Department of Education as Focus or Priority use this tool as a review protocol.

Prior to working and the Regent Research Fund, Dr. McFarlane was the principal of the Hugo Newman College Preparatory School located at 370 West 120th Street in Harlem New York.  He received his advanced degree from Teachers College, Columbia University with a focus on school restructuring and its impact on urban schools.  He has been an educator for over twenty-nine years and his in-school experience is very diverse.  During his tenure at the Hugo Newman College Preparatory School – PS/IS 180M, he successfully led this school’s removal as a School Under Registration Review (SURR) as well as facilitating an increase in reading and mathematics achievement for twelve consecutive years.

The New York City Department of Education honored Dr. McFarlane an outstanding educator representing his school district as “Principal of the Year.”  He received the Harlem Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Principal’s Award as well as the Cahn Fellowship as an Outstanding New York City Principal.  He also is an active member of the Cahn Fellow Board of Directors.  Under his leadership Hugo Newman College Preparatory School – PS/IS 180 received the following awards:  Schools To Watch, The Panasonic National School Change Award, and The Blackboard Award for Rising Star Elementary School, A Rising School To Watch and the Interagency Outstanding Early Childhood Award.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated recognized him for his tremendous community service.  He has worked with Dr. Lorraine Monroe’s Leadership Institute as well as Columbia University’s Teacher College Department of Organizational Leadership where he has been a featured panelist working with principals and superintendents.  Education Update honored Peter with his colleagues of mentor principals as Outstanding Administrators for the 2010 school year.

Over the past decade, The United Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, The New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post, The Amsterdam News and a host of other publications have written articles that have focused on the work of his school around organizational transformation.  His school has hosted schools and political delegations from Pennsylvania, Egypt, Sweden, Japan, California, Washington, D.C. and Georgia focusing their visits on school change, leadership strategies and professional development.  Most recently, he has worked in partnership with head teachers from the United Kingdom.

Dr. McFarlane continues his scholarly work with Dr. Margaret Terry Orr, Associate Professor of Educational Administration at Bank Street College exploring school change and its impact on academic achievement and the social development of urban schools.  They are currently collaborating on a project that explores how you can substantially change a school from within by developing the curriculum expertise of teachers.