Born to Marshall Parsons Smith and Ann Eileen (Zulauf) Smith in East Orange, NJ.
Is a systems analyst and computer programmer for Raytheon Corporation until 1962.
Earns a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Harvard University.
Is a research assistant and teaching fellow in Harvard University’s GSAS Social Relations Department until 1966.
Achieves a Master of Education from Harvard University.
Teaches as an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor at Harvard University until 1976.
Obtains a Doctor of Education from Harvard University.
Is a visiting scholar and assistant director for research into improving reading and mathematics at the National Institute of Education until 1975.
Is an associate director at the National Institute of Education until 1977; Is assistant commissioner for policy studies in the Office of Education until 1979.
Serves as chief of staff and executive assistant to the first secretary of education in the U.S. Department of Education until 1980.
Is director of the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research until 1986; Teaches education policy and psychology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison until 1986.
Serves Stanford University as a professor until 2001 and as dean of the School of Education until 1994.
Is elected a member of the National Academy of Education.
Is a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences through 1993.
Serves the U.S. Department of Education as under-secretary and acting deputy secretary of education until 2000.
Is ranked 7th in Education Week poll of Top 10 Influential People of the past decade in United States Education through 2005.
Is program director for education for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation until 2009.
Is a senior counselor and director of international affairs for the U.S. Dept. of Education and a member of the Pakistan Education Task Force until 2010.
Receives a Medal for Lifetime Educational Impact from Harvard University; Is a senior fellow of the Carnegie Foundation and maintains the role.
Is elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.