Alice Johnson Cain is the Executive Vice President at Teach Plus. She leads the organization’s efforts to improve state and federal policy and to build partnerships between Teach Plus and other organizations seeking to improve results for students. She works closely with Teach Plus staff and teachers across the country to ensure that their advocacy yields tangible victories for students.
Alice brings over 25 years of education policy and advocacy experience to Teach Plus. She joined the organization in 2011, after serving six years in a senior role in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she led K-12 education policy development for the Education and Labor Committee under Chairman George Miller. During that time, Alice played a leading role in writing key legislation including Race to the Top, the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), the Teaching Excellence for All Students (TEACH) Act, and the RENEWAAL Act to assist Gulf Coast schools after Hurricane Katrina. Alice served on the education committee that advised Senator Obama's 2008 presidential campaign as well as a similar committee that advised Secretary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Other roles include working for Senator Paul Simon on the U.S. Senate’s education committee, at the Children's Defense Fund, Hope Street Group, and the U.S. Department of Education. Alice previously taught GED classes to low-income and homeless adults in Washington, DC and spent many years as a literacy tutor for adults and youth.
At Teach Plus, Alice has focused on bringing solutions-oriented teachers into the national policy conversation. In 2015, she brought Teach Plus teachers to the White House to meet with President Obama, and brought many teacher leaders to the U.S. Department of Education to meet with Secretary Duncan and Secretary King. Alice has secured invitations from both Democratic and Republican committee chairs for Teach Plus teachers to testify in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and has brought top policymakers to speak at Teach Plus forums. Alice has published numerous reports, op-eds, and articles on education policy, including a report published by Fulbright New Zealand that included policy recommendations later adopted by the New Zealand government. Alice was a Senior Congressional Staff Fellow with the Aspen Institute, and has acted as peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program. She has given speeches and presented on panels before numerous organizations, including the American Educational Research Association, American Enterprise Institute, Aspen Institute, Council of Chief State School Officers, Democrats for Education Reform, Education Trust, Education Writers Association, Fordham Institute, National Education Association, National Governors' Association, and Teach for America.
Alice earned a BA with honors in political science from Gettysburg College, and was set to complete an MA in policy management from Georgetown University when she was recruited by Chairman Miller's office. Alice lives with her husband and two sons in Maryland, where she serves on the board of Maryland-CAN and as a Commissioner on the Annapolis Education Commission.