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Senate Confirms Statistics Commissioner, IES Board Members

At the 11th hour of the 111th Congressional session, the Senate at last plugged several long-standing holes in the leadership of the nation's education research agency.

By voice vote, the Senate approved Sean P. "Jack" Buckley, of New York, to be Commissioner of Education Statistics through June 21, 2015. Mr. Buckley, an associate professor of applied statistics at New York University, is known for his research into charter school accountability and research-based teacher training systems. The vote at last provides a permanent leader to the statistics office, which has operated under the temporary leadership of acting commissioner Stuart Kerachsky for more than two years.

In addition, Senators approved three of the four outstanding nominations to the National Board for Education Sciences, the advisory board to the Institute of Education Sciences: Robert A. Underwood, of Guam and Kris D. Gutierrez of Colorado will serve through Nov. 28, 2012; Anthony Bryk, of California, will serve through Nov. 28, 2011. However, the Senate declined to confirm board nominee Beverly L. Hall, outgoing Atlanta school district superintendent, who decided not to renew her contract amid investigations into cheating on standardized tests in the urban district.

The NBES also still awaits replacements for three members whose terms expired in November. The board has also just sent out a call for an executive director to help coordinate work between the board and IES, and provide continuity to the frequently turning over board membership.

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