Josh Thomases is the Dean of Innovation, Policy, & Research. In this role, he focuses on developing new programs that build on Bank Street’s strengths, expanding the College’s ability to conduct research on critical issues in education, and deepening partnerships with leaders in the broader education community. His current role builds on a career committed to the idea that educators working closely with each other and the families they serve can create learning environments that transform the lives of children and communities.
Josh has been involved in New York City schools for over two decades. Before joining Bank Street, he was most recently in charge of the Office of Academics for the New York City Department of Education. In that role, he was responsible for leading the instructional work across the city, ranging from curricular and professional development support to the qualitative evaluation of schools.
Josh began his career as a founding teacher of El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one of the first public schools in the country committed to human rights. He began as a Social Studies teacher and played nearly every role in the school. He was pivotal in making it one of the strongest high schools in New York City. In 2004, Josh brought that expertise to the central office where he was responsible for identifying, developing, and approving the opening of over 350 small schools and their leaders. The core of his role was to share effective small school practices with a new and broader generation of educational leaders. MDRC has documented the result of that success—showing dramatic improvements in graduation outcomes particularly in the most under-served communities.
Josh holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Bank Street and a BA from Wesleyan University.