Edward Tobia is a Project Director with SEDL's Education Systems Support (ESS) program. Dr. Tobia has an extensive background in school improvement processes, the change process, leadership development, and professional learning communities. Recently, he worked across six states to support their implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and School Improvement Grants. Other recent work includes serving as the project director for two multiyear initiatives centered on helping districts and schools build leaders’ capacity to sustain systemic improvement. Currently, Dr. Tobia is the director of the Texas Comprehensive Center at SEDL, which supports the Texas Education Agency in its work to translate research and best practices into sustainable educational improvement.
You may contact Edward Tobia at 512-391-6560
Dr. Tobia’s areas of expertise include designing and supporting professional development for teachers and leaders, turning around low-performing schools, and assisting school systems and states in understanding the change process.
- Change Process: Dr. Tobia has provided training for state departments and others in the use of SEDL’s Concerns-Based Adoption Model, focusing specifically on developing Innovation Configurations and helping systems use the Stages of Concern Questionnaire to guide decisions about implementation of new initiatives. He also leads professional development sessions on leadership for changing schools.
- Leadership: Dr. Tobia has 17 years of experience designing and conducting ongoing professional learning for leaders as a school district administrator, an adjunct professor, and an independent consultant. He has acted as a principal coach and an advisor for administrative interns, and has designed and facilitated summer leadership institutes and multiyear leadership academies.
- Improving School Performance: Since 1995, Dr. Tobia has worked directly with elementary, middle, and high schools to help them complete comprehensive needs assessments, design improvement plans for rapid turnarounds, and implement and monitor improvement plans. He is currently leading a team charged with developing the tools and resources needed to implement SEDL’s turnaround framework.
Dr. Tobia originally joined SEDL in 1999 to coordinate the institution's work supporting the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration program. He worked on the Southwest Regional Laboratory program from 2001 to 2006 and helped to develop SEDL's Working Systemically process. After a brief departure, Dr. Tobia rejoined SEDL in 2007. He brings to SEDL 26 years of experience in public education as an elementary teacher, middle school assistant principal, elementary principal, director of elementary curriculum, and director of professional development. While he has worked in four school districts in Pennsylvania and Texas, more than half of his career was spent with the San Antonio Independent School District. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Texas State University, as a senior consultant for the National Staff Development Council, and as a Courage to Teach and Courage to Lead facilitator. Dr. Tobia was the recipient of the 2010 Edwin Hindsman Award, SEDL's annual President's Award honoring outstanding service on behalf of children. Education
Dr. Tobia holds a bachelor of arts in English from the University of Notre Dame, a master of science in elementary education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate of education in educational administration from Temple University. SEDL Publications
- Reclaiming Our Teaching Profession (2011)
- Southeast Comprehensive Center eBulletin, Volume 4, Number 3: Turning Around Low-Performing Schools (2010)
- Constructing Foundations for Success: Implications of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel Report (2009)
- Rapid Response: Transition Activities and Strategies for Middle Grades (2009)
- Rapid Response: Web-Based State Longitudinal Data Systems (2009)
- Rapid Response: Career And Technical Education (2008)
- Rapid Response: Educating Overage Students (2008)
- Rapid Response: Project-based Learning (2008)
- Rapid Response: Strategies for Improving Achievement in High-Needs Schools (2008)
- The Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle: Implementing a Standards-Based Approach to Professional Development, SEDL Letter, Volume XIX, Number 1 (2007)
- Tobia, E. F., & Hord, S. M. (2012). I am a professional: Learning communities elevate teachers' knowledge, skills, and identity. JSD, 33(3), 16–26.
- Tobia, E. F., & Hord, S. M. (2012). Reclaiming our teaching profession: The power of educators learning in community. New York: Teachers College Press.
- Tobia, E., Chauvin, R., Lewis, D., & Hammel, P. (2011). The light bulb clicks on: Consultants help teachers, administrators, and coaches see the value of learning teams. JSD, 32(1), 22–29.
- Tobia, E. F., & Hord, S. M. (March, 2002). Making the leap: Leadership, learning, and successful program implementation. Instructional Leader. Austin, TX: Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisor’s Association.
- Tobia, E.F., Jordan, C., Ray, R., Stinson, S., & Salyer, K. (2010). Looking at student work: Professional learning teams’ core practice. Presentation at the annual conference of Learning Forward (formerly the National Staff Development Council).
- Tobia, E., & Pirtle, S. (2008, December). Leadership actions that help professional learning communities flourish. Presentation at the annual conference of the National Staff Development Council.
- Tobia, E., & Chadsey, T. (2007, December). Managing unsolvable problems: Applying the polarity framework to issues of school improvement. Presentation at the annual conference of the National Staff Development Council.
- Tobia, E., & Chadsey, T. (2006, December). The courage to lead: Reconnecting who you are with what you do. Presentation at the annual conference of the National Staff Development Council.
- Tobia, E., & Cowan, D. (2005, December). Systemic improvement through curriculum alignment: An approach for change agents. Presentation at the annual conference of the National Staff Development Council.
- Buttram, J., Huie, S. B., & Tobia, E. F. (2005, April). Measuring systemic improvements in alignment. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association.
- Tobia, E. F., Candler, P., & Slack, J. (2004, December). It takes the whole system: Building the capacity of literacy leaders. Presentation at the annual conference of the National Staff Development Council.
- Stiegelbauer, S., Tobia, E. F., & Thompson, T. L. (2004, April). Building capacity in low-performing settings: Using research and evidence-based planning as a tool for effective change. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association.