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       2009 Research Conference | June 7–9

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) hosted the Fourth Annual IES Research Conference Sunday, June 7 through Tuesday, June 9, 2009, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Road, NW
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Speakers' Biographies

Roberto Agodini
Roberto Agodini is a senior economist at Mathematica Policy Research. He is currently the Study Director and Principal Investigator of the Evaluation of Mathematics Curricula — a large-scale random assignment evaluation for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that compares the effectiveness of four different early elementary school math curricula on developing student math skills. Currently, he also is the Principal Investigator for What Works Clearinghouse reviews of elementary school math interventions. Dr. Agodini has also played key roles in other recent education studies, including the Study Director for an ED study examining the effects of secondary vocational education on student outcomes, and Deputy Director for a large-scale random assignment study of the effects of educational technology (such as computer software) designed to improve student achievement.

Dr. Agodini also is a Technical Review Panel member for ED's National Evaluation of the GEAR-UP Program, and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Data on Vocational Education. His other professional activities include serving as a referee for peer reviewed journals including the Economics of Education Review, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, Teachers College Record, and World Bank Economic Review, and publishing an article in the Review of Economics and Statistics that assesses the ability of nonexperimental methods to produce valid estimates of the effectiveness of education programs.

Craig Bowen
Craig Bowen joined NCES in 2008 as a Research Scientist responsible for the Finance and Student Financial Aid Surveys. He graduated from Emory University with a BS in chemistry. At Purdue University he obtained a MS in chemistry and a MS in educational psychology. He attended Florida State University, graduating with a PhD in curriculum and instruction. Craig then did a post-doc at the University of Washington, where he provided instructional consulting to faculty in the science, mathematics and engineering disciplines. He then accepted various chemistry faculty positions (at the University of Southern Mississippi, Clemson University and the US Naval Academy) focusing his research and scholarship in two areas: 1) assessing student learning in chemistry, and 2) serving as an external evaluator of programs funded by various granting agencies. In 2001 he moved into institutional research at Towson University and began using IPEDS data. He moved to a position in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance in 2003 where he continued providing analytical support, served as divisional budget officer, and conducted special projects throughout the division. Because of his financial analysis work, he pursued a MBA degree, which he received from Johns Hopkins University in 2005. He was promoted through a number of positions culminating with his appointment as Assistant Vice President for Financial and Procurement services. He then went back to the academic and institutional research areas by moving to the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in 2006 where he served as Director of Medical Education services. In this position he was involved with school and university re-accreditation efforts, developed a data warehouse containing student-level information used as part of curriculum review and enhancement efforts, and spent much of his time at conducting course reviews and serving on various curriculum committees.

Judith J. Carta, Ph.D
Judith J. Carta, PhD is Director of Early Childhood Research at the Juniper Gardens Children's Project, a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Life Span Studies, and Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. She is currently a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on several research projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The focus of her work is evidence-based intervention practices for children's language, literacy, and social-emotional outcomes; parenting interventions focused on vulnerable populations and their effects on young children, and tools for monitoring progress of young children. She is responsible for over 100 publications in peer- reviewed journals including research syntheses, intervention research studies and conceptual papers. She was the Editor-in-Chief of Topics in Early Childhood Special Education and has held editorial positions for many major journals. She is currently the Co-Director of the IES-funded Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood.

Louis Cicchinelli
Dr. Louis Cicchinelli is the executive vice president of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) based in Denver, Colorado. McREL is a nonprofit organization created to help educators bridge the gap between research and practice. In this role he oversees McREL's research and evaluation, institutional development, information technology, and public outreach departments. Dr. Cicchinelli also serves as the executive director of the Central Region Educational Laboratory (REL Central) which is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education. REL Central supports education departments, administrators, and teachers in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming with responsive technical assistance, timely information, and scientifically-valid research. To meet this challenge, Dr Cicchinelli has designed and is responsible for implementing a regional portfolio of needs assessment, assistance, short term research projects, and multiyear randomized control trials in schools and districts across the central region states. The portfolio is organized around five established regional needs: guidance on classroom practices, especially those targeting diverse learners, assistance to rural schools and districts, improved high school outcomes, appropriate use of technology in classrooms, and the creation of a "highly qualified" teacher workforce.

As a cognitive psychologist, Cicchinelli has more than 30 years' experience conducting policy, research, and evaluation studies in a board range of areas all addressing the needs of children and adolescents — K-16 education, child welfare and maltreatment, juvenile justice, and mental health. He also has considerable experience in designing and evaluating training systems for virtually all branches of the military. Dr Cicchinelli holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Denver, and a B.A. in Psychology from Canisius College in New York.

Cicchinelli has authored and co-authored numerous publications, including: Success in Sight: A Comprehensive Approach to School Improvement; Evaluating for Success: An Evaluation Guide for Schools and Districts; Asking the Right Questions: A Leader's Guide to Systems Thinking About School Improvement; and What Americans Believe Students Should Know: A Survey of U.S. Adults.

Jill Constantine
Jill Constantine is an education area leader and associate director of research in Mathematica's Princeton, NJ, office. An expert in evaluating education interventions for at-risk children and youth, she is deputy project director for the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) and principal investigator for the Beginning Reading area of the WWC. Her technical expertise includes using random assignment, matching procedures such as propensity scoring, and advanced statistical modeling.

Constantine, who joined Mathematica in 2001, directed the firm's study of the efficacy of different teacher preparation methods in contributing to the academic achievement of elementary school students. She also directed Mathematica's evaluation of Talent Search, one of the federal TRIO programs designed to improve access to college for low-income students, and has designed evaluation studies of other college access programs. She has conducted impact and statistical analyses on several large-scale projects, including the National Early Head Start Research and Evaluation project, which focused on the cognitive and socieoemotional outcomes of young children and parenting skills of their parents.

Before joining the firm, she was an assistant professor at Williams College. She has published in and serves as a reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed journals, including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Industrial Relations, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and Review of African American Education. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mathematica, a nonpartisan research firm, conducts high-quality, objective policy research and surveys to improve public well-being. Its clients include federal and state governments, foundations, and private-sector and international organizations. The employee-owned company, with offices in Princeton, NJ, Ann Arbor, MI, Cambridge, MA, Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA, and Washington, DC, has conducted some of the most important studies of education, health care, welfare, employment, nutrition, and early childhood policies and programs.

John Deke
John Deke is a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. He is currently leading the impact analyses for two large-scale experimental evaluations and one regression discontinuity based evaluation—the National Evaluation of Reading Comprehension Interventions, the Impact Evaluation of Mandatory-Random Student Drug Testing, and the evaluation of Supplemental Educational Services. He is also the principal investigator on two IES-funded methodological studies, one concerning the potential for control-group contamination and the other on alternatives to baseline data collection in random assignment evaluations of education interventions. Dr. Deke has also led the development of the attrition standard for the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) and was deputy-chair of an expert panel on the development of standards for evaluating regression discontinuity designs for the WWC. Dr. Deke has co-authored multiple Mathematica reports and has been published in the Economics of Education Review, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Economic Inquiry.

Donna Desrochers
Donna Desrochers has spent more than a decade conducting research on education and the economy. Donna has authored numerous reports examining the impact of economic change on education and skill requirements, and its effect on current education reform efforts from preschool through higher education. Prior to joining the Delta Project, Donna was Vice President and Director of Education Studies at the Committee for Economic Development and also served as Director of Public Policy Research/Senior Economist at Educational Testing Service; she began her career as an economist the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce. Donna earned a Master's degree in economics from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and a Bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Maine in Orono, ME.

Greg Fabiano
Greg Fabiano, PhD, is an assistant professor of counseling, school, and educational psychology at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY). Dr. Fabiano received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University at Buffalo in 2005. Dr. Fabiano has begun to develop a program of research investigating evidence-based assessments and treatments for children with disruptive behavior disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Research-based activities include enhancing the outcomes of children with ADHD in general and special education settings, developing parenting programs for fathers of children with ADHD, and effective approaches for measuring and teaching effective classroom behavior management. He has been an author or co-author on over 25 peer-reviewed papers, and his work has been supported by grants from the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Institutes of Mental Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. Dr. Fabiano was recently recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with a 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson (Ph.D., Education, University of Pennsylvania) is a member of the Mathematica Policy Research (MPR) senior management team and directs the Surveys and Information Services Division, responsible for the survey research, data collection, statistics, and information systems that support most of the company's research efforts. She specializes in education, with a particular focus on issues related to at-risk youth and teaching and learning. She has played a major role in key studies for MPR, including teacher induction, teacher preparation, principal leadership development, school vouchers, abstinence education, and MPR's studies of Upward Bound and Ready to Learn. Dr. Johnson, who joined MPR in 1997, is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the American Educational Research Association, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. She began her career as a high school math teacher.

Michael S. Garet
Dr. Garet is Vice President in the Education, Human Development and the Workforce Program at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). He is serving as project director for a large-scale randomized field trial supported by the Institute of Education Sciences examining the effectiveness of teacher professional development in middle school mathematics, and he recently served as project director for a parallel study in early reading. Dr. Garet also served as co-principal investigator for a national longitudinal study of No Child Left Behind. Before joining the staff at AIR, Dr. Garet was an assistant professor in the School of Education at Stanford, and an associate professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern, where he taught courses on research methods and on schools as organizations. Recent publications include work on the effects of teacher professional development appearing in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Teachers College Record, as well an examination of the potential benefits of integrating randomized field trials and nationally representative surveys in the Peabody Journal of Education.

Russell Gersten
Russell Gersten is Executive Director of Instructional Research Group, an educational research institute in Los Alamitos, California, as well as Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. Dr. Gersten recently served as a member of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, co-chairing the Task Group on Instructional Practices.

Dr. Gersten is a nationally recognized expert in both quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation methodologies, with an emphasis on translating research into classroom practice. Increasingly, he has been used as an expert in the area of mathematics research. Dr. Gersten has conducted two synthesis of intervention research on teaching mathematics to low-achieving students and students with math disabilities. He recently completed a research project on developing valid measures for early screening of students with mathematics disabilities and is currently pursuing research on early preventative interventions. He has conducted research on the use of technology to teach mathematics to students with disabilities and reviewed proposals on effective technology based mathematics curricula and effective after school mathematics intervention curricula for Institute of Educational Sciences in 2003–2004.

He currently serves as a Principal Investigator for the What Works Clearinghouse, and chairs the Panels developing Practice Guides in Response to Intervention in Mathematics and Reading. He is the Director of the Math Strand for the Center on Instruction and the Director of Research for the Regional Educational Laboratory — South West. At present, he has over 150 publications and serves on the editorial boards of many prestigious journals in the field. He has advised on a variety of reading and mathematics projects using randomized trials in education settings and has written extensively about the importance of randomized trials in special education research. He has substantial expertise in field research on instructional innovations and the measurement of program implementation and is currently serving as a PI on a major study of reading comprehension interventions for Title I students in conjunction with Mathematical Policy Research and University of Texas at Austin.

Tate Gould
Tate Gould is a Research Scientist at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the statistical branch of the U.S. Department of Education. He presently is a Program Officer for the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grant program which provides grants to states to help develop, design, and implement statewide education data systems intended to enhance the management, analysis, and use of education data in order to improve student learning. He serves on the National Forum for Education Statistics and has professional experience in local, state, and national education policy. He is a National Board Certified Teacher in secondary mathematics, and has earned a Masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, both in education policy.

Jane Hannaway
Dr. Hannaway is Senior Fellow and founding Director of the Education Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she oversees the work of the Center and is a member of the Institute's senior management team. She is also Director of CALDER (National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research), a federally funded national research and development center.

Hannaway is an organizational sociologist whose work focuses on educational organizations, in particular the effects of education reforms on school policies and practices and ultimately on student outcomes. Her current research is heavily focused on effects of various accountability policies and issues associated with teacher labor markets using state level longitudinal administrative database.

Dr. Hannaway previously served on the faculty of Columbia, Princeton, and Stanford Universities. She was also a senior researcher with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). Dr. Hannaway has authored or co-authored/edited seven books and numerous papers in education and management journals. She is twice past vice-president of the American Education Research Association (AERA) and also a member of the Executive Board. She was elected to the Council of the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) and the Executive Board of the American Education Finance Association. She has been on the editorial board of a number of journals, was editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, the main policy journal of the American Educational Research Association. She is on the advisory committee of the U. S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) for education studies. Hannaway served on the National Academy of Science panel examining the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She is currently on the National Research Council's (NRC) study committee on value-added measures as well as the NRC's roundtable on educational accountability. She co-chairs the National Academy of Education's White Paper working group on standards, assessment and accountability.

Robert M. Hauser
Robert M. Hauser is Vilas Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he directs the Center for Demography of Health and Aging. He has been principal investigator of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study since 1980. His current research interests include trends in educational progression and achievement among American racial and ethnic groups, the uses of educational assessment as a policy tool, and changes in socioeconomic standing, cognition, health, and well-being across the life course. Recent publications include a report of the National Research Council, Measuring Literacy: Performance Levels for Adults and analyses of trends and differentials in grade retention. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and the American Philosophical Society. He is currently serving as statistical consultant to improve the measure of socioeconomic status in the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Chris Hulleman
Since receiving his PhD in 2007 in experimental social psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chris Hulleman has been a Research Fellow in the Experimental Education Research Training (ExpERT) Program, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, in the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Hulleman's primary research interests involve understanding the contextual and personality factors that influence motivation and performance. For example, in several randomized classroom trials, he is influencing the amount of value that students see in their coursework through a relevance intervention. The results indicate that students are more interested in their course material and earn higher grades when they see connections between their school work and their lives. He is also currently involved in several projects that examine the impact of performance-based incentives on student, teacher, and administrator motivation and performance. Hulleman's methodological interests include developing guidelines for translating laboratory research into the field, and developing indices of implementation fidelity. He recently accepted a joint appointment as an assistant professor of Graduate Psychology and assistant assessment specialist in the Center for Assessment Research Studies at James Madison University (starting July, 2009).

Susanne James-Burdumy
Susanne James-Burdumy is Associate Director of Research at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1999. Dr. James-Burdumy has led research teams on a number of national evaluations for the U. S. Department of Education, including: an ongoing evaluation of the impact of reading comprehension interventions on student outcomes, and an evaluation of the impact of the Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers program on students—the first large national random assignment study of afterschool programs.

Dr. James-Burdumy is also the Principal Investigator of a U.S. Department of Education impact evaluation of mandatory-random student drug testing programs and the Principal Investigator of the What Works Clearinghouse Adolescent Literacy topic area. In addition, she has contributed to studies of charter school strategies, student social and character development, and high school reform. Her work has been published in Journal of Labor Economics, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Economic Inquiry, and Journal of Urban Health.

David Judkins
David Judkins is a fellow of the American Statistical Association. He received a BA in mathematics from Carleton College in 1977 and an MA in mathematics from Indiana University in 1979. He has spent most of his 30-year career at Westat with some years at the U.S. Census Bureau and The Research Triangle Institute. He has led analysis work on several major federal evaluation projects where there were multiple outcomes and contrasts of interest and, thus, important issues about multiple comparisons. He was an active participant in the IES workgroup that advised Mathematica in the preparation of the recent white paper on multiple comparisons.

Donald J. Leu
Don Leu is the John and Maria Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology at the University of Connecticut. He holds a joint appointment in Educational Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Connecticut and directs the New Literacies Research Lab ( Don started his career in education with service in the Peace Corps, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in the Marshall Islands of Micronesia. He received his B.A. in Soviet Studies from Michigan State University, studying at the University of Moscow during part of this time. He also received an Ed.M. degree in Reading and Human Development from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy from the University of California, Berkeley. Don is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association and was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame. He is former President of the National Reading Conference, the largest organization devoted solely to reading research. His recent research focuses on the new skills and strategies required for online reading comprehension and the best instructional practices that prepare students for these new skills. This work explores issues of theory, research, and practice in the emerging area of new literacies. His work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the North Central Educational Research Lab, the Carnegie Corporation, the Institute of Education Sciences, PBS and the Annenberg Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Australian Council of Educational Research, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He has more than 100 research publications and seventeen books on topics that range from phonics and phonemic awareness to teacher education and the new literacies of online reading comprehension. He has given keynote addresses in Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and North America and is co-editor of the recent Handbook of Research on New Literacies (Erlbaum, 2008). His web page with additional information is located at:

Alfred A. Lindseth
Alfred A. Lindseth is of counsel with the law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, where he has practiced law for over 35 years. He is a nationally recognized expert in school finance law, and has played a leading role in many of the most important and complex school finance cases over the last three decades. He has represented states as diverse as New York, Florida, California, Michigan, Missouri, Georgia, Minnesota and North Dakota in litigating court cases, negotiating settlements and advising legislative and executive branch leaders. As part of his practice, he has dealt with many of the foremost experts in the country on school finance and other important issues facing public education. He is a 1966 graduate of West Point and a 1973 graduate of Harvard Law School.

James H. Lytle, Ed.D.
James H. Lytle (Torch) is Practice Professor of Educational Leadership at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. From 1998 – 2006 Dr. Lytle was superintendent of the Trenton, NJ Public Schools where he led an aggressive effort to implement New Jersey's urban education reform initiative. Prior to his appointment in Trenton, he served in a variety of capacities in the School District of Philadelphia as an elementary, middle, and high school principal; executive director for planning, research and evaluation; regional superintendent; and assistant superintendent.

Dr. Lytle has been active in a number of national professional organizations, including the Council of Great City Schools, the Cross Cities Campaign, and the American Educational Research Association. He has written and presented frequently on matters relating to the improvement of urban schooling and educational leadership. His research interests relate to increasing the efficacy of urban public schools and leading school change efforts. Most recently, he has been a consultant to the Wallace/Reader's Digest Foundation project on school leadership development.

Dr. Lytle received his doctorate in education from Stanford, a master's degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his bachelor's degree from Cornell University.

Nicole M. McNeil
Nicole McNeil is Assistant Professor of Psychology and a Fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame. She is an experimental psychologist who studies how children think, learn, and solve problems in the domain of mathematics. Her program of research involves several interrelated areas including symbolic understanding, concept construction, numerical representation, and problem solving. She received a B.S from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before taking her position at the University of Notre Dame, she worked for one year as a postdoctoral research associate at Yale University. She has been invited to give research talks at over 20 different universities, and she has published her work in top journals such as Child Development, Cognitive Science, Developmental Psychology, and Journal of Educational Psychology. Her current research, which focuses on children's understanding of mathematical equivalence, is supported by a grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES). She was awarded a 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Sean W. Mulvenon
Dr. Sean W. Mulvenon is a professor of educational statistics and director of the National Office for Research on Measurement and Evaluation Systems (NORMES) at the University of Arkansas. He has published over 50 manuscripts, one book, and numerous technical reports in addition to having presented over 150 papers at national and international conferences. Since 1998 he has generated over $9 million in research funding as a principal investigator for NORMES studying educational data systems, measurement models associated with school reform, and conducting research on the impact No Child Left Behind legislation (NCLB). Dr. Mulvenon recently completed a 31-month appointment as a senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Education where he studied NCLB measurement models, developed national data systems for the Department of Education, and served on several internal review panels, including evaluation of growth models and policy legislation associated with NCLB.

Dean Nafziger, Ph.D.
Dr. Dean Nafziger is a nationally recognized leader, experienced executive, educator and researcher. His breadth of experience gives him the insight and ability to work confidently with researchers, policy makers, educators and business executives.

From his training and research experiences, Dr. Nafziger has a deep understanding and knowledge of the rationale of scientifically valid research and analytical skills required to conduct rigorous, high quality research studies, including randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental studies, and analyses using large data sets. Dr. Nafziger's marked career includes research positions at The Johns Hopkins University's Center for Social Organization of Schools, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) and San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). He has also served in executive leadership roles at Far West Laboratory, WestEd, Educational Testing Service (ETS), Sylvan Learning and Harcourt Educational Measurement.

Dr. Nafziger received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, Northwest Nazarene College, Ph.D., Educational Administration and Research, New Mexico State University and attended Harvard Business School, Strategic Perspectives for Nonprofit Management.

Charles Perfetti
Charles Perfetti is Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Director of the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. His research on reading and language is published in over 180 articles and book chapters. He is author of two books on reading (Reading Ability, 1985; Text-based learning and Reasoning: Studies in History, 1995, with M.A. Britt and M. Georgi) and co-editor of four books on literacy topics, most recently, Higher level language processes in the brain: Inference and comprehension processes (with Franz Schmalhofer). He is the 2004 recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading. Perfetti is Co-Director of the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, funded by the National Science Foundation. His current research program addresses the nature of reading skill, lexical knowledge and comprehension, comparative studies of reading across writing systems, and second language learning. The research spans studies of adults and children and uses behavioral, electrophysiological (ERPs), and fMRI methods.

Mark Schneider
Mark Schneider is Vice President at the American Institutes for Research. He served as the Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) from 2005 through 2008. He is also Distinguished Professor of political science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Schneider received his PhD from the University of North Carolina in 1974. He has written widely in the areas of urban politics and public policy. His articles have appeared in all the major political science, sociology, and policy journals. His 1989 book, The Competitive City, won special recognition by the American Political Science Association's Urban Politics Section, for its theoretical contribution to the study of urban politics. His 2000 book, Choosing Schools: Consumer Choice and the Quality of American Schools, won the Aaron Wildavsky best book prize from the Policy Studies Organization. His most recent book, Charter Schools: Hope or Hype?, was published in 2007. His recent work has focused on higher education policies, especially higher education accountability.

Schneider has been active in his professional organizations, having served as the Vice President of the American Political Science Association 2000-2001; President, American Political Science Association Public Policy Section, 2000-2001; Program Chair, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meetings, 2001; and on the executives council of the Midwest Political Science Association, the APSA Urban Section, and the APSA Public Policy Section. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, New York City, September 1997-July 1998 and at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, August 1990-August 1991. Earlier he held a Fulbright-Hays Senior Fellowship, 1980-1981, at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.

Dr. Peter Schochet
Peter Schochet is a Senior Fellow and econometrician at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), and has played a major role in the design, implementation, and analysis of several of MPR's largest random assignment and quasi-experimental evaluations for the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services. Dr. Schochet is currently a Principal Investigator on the Analytic and Technical Support (ATS) Project, where he is providing analytic expertise and consultation for IES on methodological issues related to impact studies, and has produced several IES-published methodological papers. Dr. Schochet was the principal investigator for the highly acclaimed National Job Corps Study, one of the largest social experimental evaluation ever conducted in the U.S. His current methodological interests include statistical power, impact and variance estimation, causal inference underlying randomized control trials, regression discontinuity designs, and multiple comparisons.

Dan Sherman
Dr. Dan Sherman is a Managing Director at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and has been involved in several research projects that have sought to apply and evaluate small area estimation techniques in using national assessment data to produce statistics at the level of states and smaller geographic areas. These projects include analyses of NAEP, NAAL, and PISA and have involved development and application of various types of estimation techniques. Dr. Sherman is actively involved in working in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) International Indicators of Education Systems (INES) Project and chairs a working group that examines the relationship between education and economic outcomes. He received his Ph.D in Labor Economics from Cornell University.

Robert Siegler
Robert Siegler is Teresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. He has been at Carnegie Mellon since receiving his PhD in 1974 from SUNY at Stony Brook. In the ensuing years, he has written eight books, edited four others, and authored more than 200 articles and book chapters. The books and articles have focused on children's reasoning and problem solving, particularly in science and math. His latest book, written with Judy DeLoache and Nancy Eisenberg and published in 2006, is a child development textbook titled How Children Develop. Among other honors, he was awarded the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 2005 and served as a member from 2006–2008 of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, a Presidential Commission appointed by the U. S. Secretary of Education, to improve mathematics education in the U. S.

Eric Smith
Eric Smith began his career in Florida more than 30 years ago as a classroom teacher. His commitment to affecting positive change in the field of education led him to several administrative positions in Florida school districts and eventually to 16 years of serving as a district superintendent in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. His goals have remained constant throughout his career: to increase academic achievement of all students and to reduce the disparity in achievement among student subgroups. His success in consistently meeting these goals in individual districts bears testimony to his own passion to change students' lives, the urgency he brings to the challenges involved, and the leadership he demonstrates in ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders.

Central to his work, beginning at Winter Park High School in 1982 and continuing in each district thereafter, has been the expansion of Advanced Placement programs and the International Baccalaureate. His leadership in each district led to significant gains in academic achievement, increased enrollment in rigorous coursework and advanced studies, improved reading and math scores among elementary students, and meaningful progress toward lessening the achievement gap among minority student populations. He also created meaningful working relationships with members of the diverse communities he served, the business community, the faith community, and the district's elected officials to cultivate a shared commitment to education of the highest quality.

Eric's most recent work was with the College Board, where he served as Senior Vice President for College Readiness and was responsible for leading the EXCELerator project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and based on a mission of preparing all students for college. The project is now being implemented in five school districts across the country, including Duval and Hillsborough in Florida, and impacts nearly 45,000 young people.

Eric is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for The College Board, as well as a member on the Board of Directors for the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program; he also has served as Chair of the National Assessment of Title 1 Independent Review Panel since 2003. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and his master's degree in school administration from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He earned his doctorate of curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Jeffrey Smith
Jeffrey Smith is Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1996. From 1994 to 2001 he was on the faculty at the University of Western Ontario and from 2001 to 2005 he was on the faculty at the University of Maryland. His research centers on experimental and non-experimental methods for the evaluation of interventions, with particular application to social and educational programs. He has also written papers examining the labor market effects of university quality and the use of statistical treatment rules to assign persons to government programs. Important recent publications include "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective than the Services Themselves?" (with Dan Black, Mark Berger and Brett Noel) in the American Economic Review (2003), "The Economics and Econometrics of Active Labor Market Programmes" (with James Heckman and Robert LaLonde) in the Handbook of Labor Economics, Volume 3A (1999), "The Pre-Programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme: Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies" (with James Heckman), Economic Journal(1999) (winner of Royal Economic Society prize for article in the Economic Journal in 1999) and "Does Matching Overcome LaLonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Methods?" (with Petra Todd), Journal of Econometrics (2005). He has consulted to governments in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia on evaluation issues.

Willa Spicer
Willa Spicer is the Deputy Commissioner of Education of New Jersey. She led New Jersey Performance Assessment Alliance as Project Director, and prior to that served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at South Brunswick Township Public Schools. She served as both a high school principal and an elementary principal in the same District.

Ms. Spicer is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She pursued additional graduate studies at Rutgers University.

Ms. Spicer served on the Board of Education in Lawrence Township and taught in Trenton High School and Trenton Alternative School. She worked as a coadjutant at Rutgers University, teaching curriculum courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Ms. Spicer has coauthored several publications dealing with assessment and has served the USDOE as a site visitor and a member of the review panel for the Blue Ribbon Schools program.

In New Jersey, she served on a variety of professional committees and is a board member of Young Audiences. She was recognized as an outstanding educator by the Rutgers Graduate School of Education and Rider College Education Department. She received the Ernest Boyer Distinguished Educator Award from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the community award for distinguished women from Princeton YWCA.

Sharon Vaughn
Dr. Sharon Vaughn holds the H. E. Hartfelder/Southland Corp. Regents Chair in Human Development and is the Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk an organized research unit at the University of Texas. She was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning Disabilities and the Co-Editor of Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. She is the recipient of the AERA SIG distinguished researcher award and the University of Texas Distinguished faculty award. She is the author of numerous books and research articles that address the reading and social outcomes of students with learning difficulties. She is currently the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on several Institute of Education Sciences, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and U.S. Department of Education research grants investigating effective interventions for students with reading difficulties and students who are English language learners. She is the author of more than 10 books, 100 peer-reviewed research articles, and 50 chapters.

Patrick J. Wolf
Dr. Patrick J. Wolf is Professor of Education Reform and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He previously taught at Georgetown and Columbia University. Wolf is principal investigator of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program Impact Evaluation and also leads a comprehensive multi-method longitudinal evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. He has authored, co-authored, or co-edited three books, 30 articles and book chapters, and 22 policy reports on school choice, special education, and public management. In 1998 he received the "Best Article Award" from the Academy of Management, Public and Nonprofit Management Division. A 1987 summa cum laude graduate of the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University in 1995.