Alice Johnson Cain is the Executive Vice President at Teach Plus. She leads the organization’s efforts to improve policy in 11 states and at the federal level and to build strategic alliances between Teach Plus and other organizations seeking to improve results for students. She supports teacher leaders across the country in order to ensure that their advocacy yields tangible victories for students.
Alice brings over 25 years of education policy experience to Teach Plus. She joined the organization in 2011 after serving six years in a senior staff role in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she led K-12 policy development for the Education and Labor Committee under Chairman George Miller. During that time, Alice played a leading role in efforts to dramatically expand public investment in public schools (Race to the Top), invest in bringing proven innovative practices to scale (Investing in Innovation Fund), ensure all students have access to outstanding teaching and that teachers have the supports they need to enter and stay in the classroom (the Teaching Excellence for All Children, or TEACH, Act), and a law that assisted Gulf Coast schools after Hurricane Katrina (the RENEWAAL Act). Alice served on committee of education experts 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 at the Children's Defense Fund, Hope Street Group, the National Institute for Literacy, and for Senator Paul Simon, where her focus included the National Literacy Act, Literacy AmeriCorps, and expanding foreign language and international education opportunities for students and teachers. 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 focuses on bringing solutions-oriented teachers into the national policy conversation. In 2015, she brought Teach Plus teachers to the White House to discuss testing with President Obama, and connected many teachers with opportunities to share their expertise on a range of issues with Secretary John King and Secretary Arne Duncan. Alice has secured invitations from Democratic and Republican lawmakers for Teach Plus teachers to testify before the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and has brought top policymakers to speak at Teach Plus forums. Alice has published numerous op-eds, articles, and reports on education policy, including a report published by Fulbright New Zealand with policy recommendations later adopted by the New Zealand government. Alice was a Senior Congressional Staff Fellow with the Aspen Institute, and has served as peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education, Bellwether Partners, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program. She gives speeches and appears on panels frequently, including for the American Educational Research Association, American Enterprise Institute, Aspen Institute, Center for American Progress, Council of Chief State School Officers, Education Trust, Fordham Institute, National Education Association, National Governors' Association, National Network of State Teachers of the Year, Policy Innovators in Education Network, 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 as a Commissioner on the Annapolis Education Commission.