President Barack Obama announced today that he will nominate a new member and re-enlist an existing member to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences, the advisory group for the U.S. Education Department’s research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences.
If confirmed by the Senate—a process that can take months—the nominations would go a little way toward filling the holes in the board, which has been operating without five of its 15 members since last November.
Adam Gamoran and Judith D. Singer “have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers,” Obama said in a statement. “I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”
Gamoran, who has been an active NBES member since 2010, is the John D. MacArthur professor of sociology and educational policy studies, director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and associate dean for research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s education school. He also serves as an elected member of the National Academy of Education and chairs the Education Department’s Independent Advisory Panel of the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education.
Gamoran’s research has focused on how K-12 and higher education policy affects social and poverty-related achievement gaps. He’s now studying how school desegregation and re-segregation affects students’ long-term academic outcomes and career paths.
Singer, who was also nominated for the board, is the senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity and James Bryant Conant education professor at Harvard University. Like Gamoran, Singer is a member of the National Academy of Education and she served as a founding board member of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. She is an expert in quantitative methodology and most recently has studied ways to improve longitudinal data system research.
Singer almost certainly will not be confirmed in time for the next NBES meeting, planned for Oct. 14. The board plans to discuss, among other topics:
• Whether the Obama administration’s “tiered” research initiatives, such as the Investing in Innovation, or i3, grants, can stimulate more rigorous education research;
• The status of the congressionally established Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education’s plan for a cohesive federal STEM education framework; and
• Emerging research on “continuous improvement” when implementing large-scale programs.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.