John E. Chubb, a prominent education researcher and the president of the National Association of Independent Schools, died Nov. 12. He was 61.
Prior to taking the reins at the NAIS in 2013, Chubb wore multiple hats in the education world: as a teacher at Stanford University; as a founder of Edison Schools, an education management company; and as a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, among many other roles.
He was also an influential figure in the school choice movement.
In a 1990 book, Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools, Chubb and co-author Terry M. Moe argued that more school autonomy and parental choice improved student performance and that states should encourage competition between public and private schools.
Jeanne Allen, the founder and president emeritus of the Center for Education Reform, called Chubb “one of the truly most impactful people of the entire school choice movement and an intellectual giant.” In a statement, she said: “Scholar, executive, educator, and friend, he will be sorely missed.”
Chubb also advised President George H.W. Bush and former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on education policy.
Colleagues say Chubb remained a researcher at heart, even after becoming president of the NAIS, and was deeply committed to growing the independent school sector.
“During his time at NAIS, John sought to bring national attention to the work of independent schools,” said Katherine Dinh, the chairwoman of the NAIS board, in a statement. “He believed that our schools are a driving force in education, and he envisioned NAIS as a vibrant community of schools that serve a growing student body.”
A version of this article appeared in the December 02, 2015 edition of Education Week as Obituary