The White House is turning to Chicago yet again for a key education post. John Q. Easton, the executive director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research, has been nominated to oversee the Institute of Education Sciences, the Education Department’s main research arm. If approved by the Senate, Easton would serve a six-year term as the director of the IES.
A press release from the consortium, based at the University of Chicago, notes that as director at IES, Easton “will oversee four major national centers, a staff of about 200, and partnerships with institutions nationwide.” The institute funds lots and lots of research, plus large-scale evaluations of federal education programs.
The agency also reports on a dizzying array of statistics on the state of education. To be sure, this is an important job, and no doubt folks will be watching closely to see what the naming of Easton will mean for the future direction of research.
Easton is familiar with a federal test that is highly regarded by researchers, and heavily scrutinized by policymakers: the National Assessment of Educational Progress. He’s a former member of the National Assessment Governing Board, the independent panel that oversees the NAEP, often referred to as “the nation’s report card.”
Easton would succeed Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, who left the institute directorship in November, and is now at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
(Photo credit goes to the National High School Center.)