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Senate Confirms Easton as Education Research Chief

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The U.S. Senate voted last night to confirm John Easton for a six-year term as the new director of the Institute of Education Sciences, the main research arm of the Department of Education. Here's what he had to say about it in the "Dear Colleague" letter being circulated today:


I am both thrilled and honored to take on this new challenge after a long and rewarding career working to help Chicago Public Schools through the Consortium on Chicago School Research here at the University of Chicago.

I head to Washington during a time of great promise in school reform when top-notch informative research is all the more critical. The Institute of Education Sciences is the nation's engine for educational research, evaluation, assessment, and statistics -- and instrumental to scholars, education policymakers, and practitioners. The institute funds hundreds of research studies on ways to improve academic achievement, conducts large-scale evaluations of federal education programs, and reports a wide array of statistics on the condition of education, such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress. As director, I will oversee four major national centers, a staff of about 200, and partnerships with institutions nationwide.

As for the consortium that he currently heads at the University of Chicago, Easton says that two of its longtime directors, Penny Bender Sebring and Elaine Allensworth, will take his place as interim leaders while the group seeks a permanent replacement.

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