Dr. LaRock is a nationally-known education policymaker who has held high-level positions at the federal, state, and international levels. As a senior education advisor to the late Senator Ted Kennedy from 2006 to 2008, Dr. LaRock worked on a 2007 law that provided $20 billion in financial aid to the nation’s college students.
As education policy director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2008 to 2010, Dr. LaRock helped secure a quarter-billion dollars for Massachusetts public schools through the federal “Race to the Top” competition. Dr. LaRock authored significant portions of the “Achievement Gap Act,” a 2010 education reform law that led to the creation of more than 50 “Innovation Schools” across the state. The law also significantly strengthened the state’s power to intervene in low-performing school districts, leading to a nationally praised school turnaround effort in Lawrence.
Currently, Dr. LaRock serves on the senior leadership team of Northeastern University, where he is chief of staff to the president and a lecturer in the College of Professional Studies. Immediately prior to this position, he was a senior analyst and manager of the international education statistics program at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris.
“I’m thrilled to have this new opportunity to serve the students and families of Massachusetts, especially the North Shore,” Dr. LaRock said. “North Shore Community College does important work to help people from all walks of life get a great education and a solid start to their careers. I’m grateful to Governor Baker for giving me this chance to support the mission of this vital institution.”
NSCC President Patricia A. Gentile noted, “Dr. LaRock brings a strong expertise in public higher education policy with him to his new role. We are excited to be working with him for North Shore Community College.”
Dr. LaRock holds three degrees from Harvard, including a doctorate in education administration, planning and policy, as well as a law degree from Georgetown University. He began his career as a spokesman for the New York City public school system and a television reporter on NY1, New York City’s all-news TV station. He is a former editor of the Harvard Educational Review, co-editor of the book Special Education for a New Century, and author of the forthcoming book The Big Race: President Obama’s Race to the Top Competition and its Impact on State-Level Education Reform.
Dr. LaRock is involved with several non-profit organizations that work on behalf of children, students, and families. He serves on the Board of Directors of Families First Parenting Programs, and is also a member of the board of the United Nations Association of Greater Boston.
Dr. LaRock lives in Melrose with his wife Christina and their 4-year-old daughter.