Joan Richardson is known as an excellent editor, writer, and researcher with deep expertise about education and for being a creative and strategic thinker who excels at transforming publications and rethinking organizational efforts to deepen impact in schools and influence quality of learning. In addition to spending hundreds of hours visiting U.S. schools, she also has extensive experience visiting and writing about schools abroad — Canada, China, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Haiti, and the Netherlands.
She was editor-in-chief of Phi Delta Kappan magazine, the flagship publication of PDK International, for 10 years and also director of the PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, the nation’s longest-running public opinion survey about K-12 education.
Before joining PDK in 2008, she served as communications director for the National Staff Development Council (now Learning Forward) for 12 years. In that position, she was executive editor of JSD and also the creator, editor, and writer for the NSDC newsletters — The Learning Principal, The Learning System, Tools for Schools, and Teachers Teaching Teachers (T3) — and manager of the organization’s extensive web site. She also directed NSDC’s book publishing operations, web site, and its media outreach efforts.
Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, she worked for 22 years as a newspaper reporter and editor. In her last newspaper job with the Detroit Free Press, she focused on issues and trends in education, including coverage of the early days of charter schools in Michigan. Her previous newspaper jobs included stints at the Indianapolis Star and the Peoria Journal Star.
She designed and launched All Things PLC, a magazine published by Solution Tree Press. She is the author of From the Inside Out: Learning from the Positive Deviance in Your Organization (NSDC, 2004). She served on the Grosse Pointe (Mich.) Board of Education for six years, including one term as president.
Joan was a Michigan Journalism Fellow (1988-89) studying the economics of globalization on American business and American life. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from Indiana University.