Peggy C. Kirby is a former professor of educational leadership and foundations, university research professor, and endowed professor for school improvement at the University of New Orleans, where she taught graduate courses in research and school leadership. She is a certified teacher and program evaluator in the state of Louisiana. Since receiving a PhD in educational administration in 1987, she has investigated school-level factors, particularly leadership and governance, that influence student and teacher outcomes. She co-founded the Jefferson Community School, Louisiana’s first charter school that serves middle school students at risk of failure due to chronic discipline problems. She co-authored, with Vincent Anfara, Jr., Voices from the Middle: Decrying What Is, Imploring What Could Be (1999). Her research publications have focused on alternative middle schools, shared leadership, ethics in educational administration, charter schools, and classroom processes related to effective schooling, and have appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Education, the Journal of Educational Administration, and the Middle School Journal.
Kirby is now president of ed-cet, inc., an educational research, evaluation, and consulting firm based in New Orleans. Her clients include school districts in 12 states that received federal or state funds to improve instruction, leadership, and climate in their schools. She helped create the School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans, which emphasizes cross-district collegiality, professionalism, and research-based school improvement. Through the center, she continues to assist school leaders in examining and implementing alternative forms of governance based on teacher empowerment.