About the North Carolina Education Alliance
The North Carolina Education Alliance is dedicated to fundamental reform of our state's education system. We believe that
the focus of education should be on students rather than the system, because the system exists to serve the students.
mission of the Alliance is to identify and publicize innovative, effective solutions to educational problems.
was created in 1998 and is now directed by Lindalyn Kakadelis, a former teacher and Charlotte school board member. Its
Steering Committee is made up of reform-minded school board members, county commissioners, business executives,
educators, and other local leaders.
Lindalyn Kakadelis, Director
Since 2003, Lindalyn Kakadelis has served as the Director of the North Carolina Education Alliance, a resource network providing North Carolinians with comprehensive data on topics affecting K-12 education. Dedicated to the fundamental reform of our state's educational system, the Alliance identifies and publicizes innovative and effective solutions to North Carolina's education problems.
Before coming to the Alliance, Mrs. Kakadelis served as the director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) of Charlotte for more than two years. CSF, a privately-funded charity providing tuition assistance to lower-income students, gives disadvantaged families the freedom to choose the best school for their child. Now helping more than 400 children, CSF partners with 70 independent schools. Mrs. Kakadelis also served two terms on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education (CMS). First elected in 1995, she worked on the Legislative and Curriculum Committees and chaired the Policy Committee. One of Mrs. Kakadelis' key achievements as a CMS board member was her involvement in the implementation of an urban public school choice plan benefiting more than 100,000 students. Mrs. Kakadelis has also served as a founding Board member of Queen’s Grant Charter School in Charlotte.
Mrs. Kakadelis began her career in education as an elementary schoolteacher, later becoming a preschool director, PTA member, and PTA legislative chairperson when she had children. Above all, her career has been governed by a commitment to empowering families through educational freedom and competition. Mrs. Kakadelis' work is based on the belief that all children − poor or privileged − deserve an opportunity to attend the public, private, or religious school best suited to their needs. In addition, she believes that competition between schools − through choice and other market-based reforms − results in a better education for students.
Mrs. Kakadelis is a frequent guest on talk radio and television programs throughout North Carolina, and often speaks at public policy forums and gatherings. Her articles appear in a wide range of publications, including the educational resource guide, SouthEast Education Network, numerous state newspapers such as the Greensboro News and Record and the Raleigh News and Observer, as well as a monthly column for the Carolina Journal. If she can assist you or your organization by speaking or writing on education and public policy issues, please contact her by phone at 704.231.9767, or by e-mail.
View Mrs. Kakadelis' curriculum vitae to learn more about her professional, community, educational, and personal experiences.
Kristen Blair, NCEA Fellow
Kristen Blair comes to the Alliance with more than a decade of experience tracking education and public policy issues at the state and national level. Ms. Blair has analyzed family and community policy for the federal government and served as a research and policy development associate for President George H.W. Bush’s National Commission on America’s Urban Families.
Upon joining the national political group Empower America, Ms. Blair worked for former U.S. Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, serving as the organization’s principal policy expert on education. During her tenure at Empower America, she covered education trends, legislation, and state ballot initiatives, and was chosen as the policy department’s Heritage Foundation Fellow. In addition, she helped launch a national policy-based media campaign promoting moral accountability in popular culture.
Most recently, Ms. Blair has worked as an independent consultant, writing for schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including Human Events and the Charlotte Observer. Ms. Blair is also the co-author of a book on marriage.