Aaron Butler, a principle technical assistance consultant at AIR, has nearly 20 years of experience supporting school improvement in public education through his work in rural, suburban, and urban districts as well as supporting multiple state departments of education. Dr. Butler serves as the deputy director and individualized technical assistance lead for the State Support Network, a technical assistance initiative of the U.S. Department of Education designed to support state and district school improvement efforts. In these roles he provides strategic direction, vision, and support to project teams, uses the existing personnel management system to coordinate with nationally recognized experts, and oversees approximately 40 intensive technical assistance activities and budgets per year. He has led multiple projects and coordinated with federally funded technical assistance centers including the Midwest Comprehensive Center, Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center), and REL Midwest, which all provide direct support to Illinois and Iowa. Dr. Butler’s recent work also includes providing training for states and districts on the identification and selection of evidence-based practices and progress monitoring through the REL Southwest and REL Northeast and Islands.
Dr. Butler has demonstrated his deep knowledge of school improvement and implementation science through project work at AIR that included district and school leadership development and coaching, performance management systems design, and as lead developer for the GTL Center’s Implementation Playbook for state and district equitable access plans. He has served as a national thought leader through multiple blog posts for the GTL Center on leadership issues, as a contributing author for Creating Safe, Equitable, Engaging Schools (2018) and Enduring Myths That Inhibit School Turnaround (2017), and through presentations at multiple national and regional conferences. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Butler led a highly successful school turnaround effort as a school administrator and director of federal programs.