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Rebecca Maynard to Leave NCEE

Rebecca Maynard announced she will step down in August as commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, one of the four centers in the Education Department's research agency that oversees large-scale intervention evaluations and the regional educational laboratory network.

Maynard was tapped from her post as education and social policy professor at the University of Pennsylvania in June 2010, during a critical—and massively busy—time for the center: It has helped lead the national evaluation of education programs under the recent fiscal-stimulus law; overhauled the What Works Clearinghouse to make it more usable; handled the at-times-precarious transfer of contracts for the latest iteration of the regional education labs; and vastly expanded the center's practice guides that translate research for teachers and principals.

Maynard has always been on a limited clock at NCEE: She has to resume her teaching and research duties at the University of Pennsylvania this fall or lose her place. Previously she had been involved in well-respected studies on teen pregnancy and home visitation programs, among other topics, but she had to give up all previous research strands when joining NCEE, and she told me, "It will be interesting going back without a portfolio; I'll have a blank slate for research" to embark on.

Her loss means the Institute of Education Sciences will be down two commissioners barely a year after the agency finally filled the top slot at the National Center for Special Education Research. Elizabeth Albro is still serving as acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Research, after Lynn Okagaki left last August.

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