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Spencer V.P. Named to Head Chicago Research Consortium

The Consortium on Chicago School Research has been without a permanent director since May, when John Q. Easton left the organization for a high-profile job heading the federal Institute of Education Sciences. As of this morning, though, the vacancy has been filled. The University of Chicago announced that Paul Goren, a senior vice president at the Spencer Foundation, has been named to head the research group.

Goren is well known in education circles for his long-running role at the Chicago-based foundation, where he was more used to doling out money for education research than scrambling for it. The foundation is the only philanthropy in the nation dedicated exclusively to promoting education research and its largesse has, over the years, extended to Education Week, where it once underwrote coverage of that issue.

The consortium, on the other hand, is a noted producer of education research. Its style of research, all of it conducted in collaboration with the Chicago school system, has become a national model for urban school studies. (To get an idea of the kind of work the consortium does, see my story this week on the consortium's new book, Organizing Schools for Success: Lessons from Chicago.) The group is part of the university's Urban Education Institute, which operates four charter schools and runs teacher-training programs in addition to conducting research.

A former middle school teacher and a Chicago native, Goren has also held posts over his 25 years in the field at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the National Governors Association. Most recently, he's been on a Fulbright fellowship studying how New Zealand's education policies affect outcomes for Maori students in that country.


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