Speaker series to explore putting education research into action

The School of Education is hosting a series of talks in which speakers will explore how people working in areas of education policy research can get their findings into public debates on education.

In its second year, the Hussman Education Policy Colloquium Series brings speakers to the Carolina campus to explore topics in education. This topic of this year’s series is “Leveraging Educational Research for Action and Advocacy.”

The colloquium series is coordinated by Lora Cohen-Vogel, the Robena and Walter E. Hussman, Jr. Distinguished Associate Professor of Policy and Education Reform.

The three talks:

Chris Swanson: Wednesday, Jan. 22

Christopher Swanson, vice president of research and development for Editorial Projects in Education, the publisher of Education Week, will speak on Jan. 22. His talk is entitled “Putting Research in the Hands of the Media, the Public and Decision-Makers.” The talk will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Peabody 02.

Swanson previously held positions as the director of the EPE Research Center, a division of the Editorial Projects in Education, and as a senior research associate at the Urban Institute. He has served on advisory panels for groups such as the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, and has been called on by the Department of Education and the Government Accountability Office to advise on issues related to graduation rates.

His research has covered a variety of educational policy issues including high school graduation rates, standards and accountability, instructional reform, student mobility, and public school choice, which has been featured in national and regional media and leading scholarly journals.

Ted Fiske: Wednesday, Feb.12

Ted Fiske, a former education editor for The New York Times and a widely published writer and editor on education, will give a talk on Feb. 12 entitled “Getting the Word Out: Using Your Research to Craft Opinion-Editorials.” His talk will begin at noon in Peabody 02. Those planning to attend are invited to bring their lunches.

Fiske is the author of the best-selling “The Fiske Guide to Colleges” and many other books on college admissions. He and his wife, Helen Ladd, a professor of public policy at Duke University, have worked together on a variety of publications regarding education, including examinations of education reform efforts in South Africa and co-editing “Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy,” the official handbook of the American Education Finance Association.

He is a regular contributor to the International Herald-Tribune, and his articles, columns and book reviews have appeared in American Prospect, Education Week, Chronicle of Higher Education and other national publications. He has received numerous awards for education reporting.

Judith Rizzo: Wednesday, Mar. 5

Judith Rizzo, executive director and chief executive officer of the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, will give a talk on March 5 entitled “Building and Sustaining an Advocacy Coalition: The Story of the Common Core and the Use of Research Evidence in It.” The talk begins at noon in Peabody 02, and those planning to attend are invited to bring their lunches.

At the beginning of her career, Rizzo worked for 16 years as a teacher and in a variety of other school positions in Boston Public Schools. She led court-ordered desegregation programmatic efforts there, then worked as a principal, developing a model international school.

Rizzo also served as deputy chancellor for instruction for the New York City Public Schools, where she implemented reforms including the creation of the Chancellor’s District to provide direct oversight of the city’s lowest-performing schools. Among other initiatives, she also initiated reform of the system’s special education program, introduced an assessment system to guide development of school-based planning and accountability and introduced a comprehensive system of content standards, aligned assessments and teacher development.

She became the first executive director and CEO of the Hunt Institute in 2002. Under Rizzo’s leadership, the institute has become a national resource for political, business and education leadership, providing support for leaders seeking to drive education reform.