At the age of 12, Dr. Andrés Alonso emigrated from Cuba to the United States with his parents. Originally speaking no English, he attended public schools in Union City, New Jersey, graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University, and earned a J.D. and a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University. After practicing law in New York City he changed course to become an educator.
From 1987 to 1998, Dr. Alonso taught emotionally disturbed special education adolescents and English language learners in Newark, New Jersey. He then served as Chief of Staff for Teaching and Learning and as Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the New York City Department of Education during the launch of its Children First reform.
On July 1, 2007, Dr. Alonso became CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools). In the first three years of his tenure, Baltimore City students reached their highest outcomes in state exams, across all categories of students. City Schools saw its enrollment climb, following four decades of steady enrollment decline. It posted its best-ever dropout and graduation rates, driven largely by attention to all students, a focus on adult performance, the promotion of choice and school autonomy for all schools, and intensive efforts to engage parents and community. City Schools exited “Corrective Action” status under No Child Left Behind in 2009 and in 2010 settled the Vaughn G. special education lawsuit, ending 26 years of court oversight and litigation.
Throughout his career Dr. Alonso has been defined by his fervent commitment to students and their families. He loves Cuban culture.