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November 2009

Around the Centers

John Q. Easton Sworn in as New IES Director

John Q. Easton outlined ambitious goals for the Institute of Education Sciences after being sworn in as director by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan during an Oct. 5 ceremony.

"We will continue to build on our rigorous standards for research, statistics, assessment, and evaluation . . . but we will also bring a new focus
. . . as we strive for usability and relevance," Dr Easton told staff, family and friends gathered for the ceremony in the Department's auditorium. "We want to speak more directly to—and with—practitioners and policymakers."

Dr. Easton brings decades of experience in education research to IES, much of it focused on finding solutions to the problems that affect urban schools—particularly schools in Chicago. He spent his entire career in Chicago conducting research, analyzing data, evaluating school programs, and working successfully with Chicago's education community to make research findings useful and build capacity for reform. Most recently, he was the executive director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, which viewed itself as a partner in the Chicago Public Schools's (CPS) reform efforts.

Affiliated with the Consortium since its inception in 1990, Dr. Easton became its deputy director in 1997 and director in 2002. Easton's long association with CPS included serving as advisor and director of the research and evaluation department and as director of the research, analysis, and assessment department. He also served as director of monitoring and research at the Chicago Panel on School Policy, and director of research at the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning at City Colleges of Chicago.

In 2008, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) recognized Dr. Easton's research activities by awarding him with a presidential citation for "research leadership and evaluation studies focused on improving the nature and quality of education in a large urban city." From 2003-07, Easton served on the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly known as "the Nation's Report Card."

Read about Dr. Easton's goals for IES and his ideas about the federal role in education research at (see Director's Remarks and Presentations).