About the National Education Policy Center


The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.


Our senior academic staff members include nationally recognized education researchers, writers, and practitioners whose experience ensures the quality, timeliness, and value of the work NEPC does. Please feel free to contact staff members about topics of interest to you.  Please feel free to reach out to any of our staff for more information.

Kevin Welner, Director


NEPC director Kevin G. Welner is a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education, specializing in policy and law. He has authored or edited 10 books and more than 100 articles and book chapters concerning education policy and law. These publications include Closing the opportunity gap: What America must do to give every child an even chance (2013, co-edited with Prudence Carter). The Obama Education Blueprint: Researchers examine the evidence (2010, co-edited with William Mathis); Think tank research quality: Lessons for policymakers, the media, and the public (2010, with Pat Hinchey, Alex Molnar and Don Weitzman); NeoVouchers: The emergence of tuition tax credits for private schooling (2008);Legal rights, local wrongs: When community control collides with educational equity (2001); and Education policy and law: Current issues (with Wendy Chi, 2008). He is an AERA Fellow and has received the AERA’s Early Career Award and its Palmer O. Johnson Award, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Residency, and the NAEd/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He received his B.A. in Biological Sciences from UCSB and his J.D. and Ph.D. from UCLA.

Alex Molnar

Alex Molnar, Publications Director


Alex Molnar is NEPC Publications Director, Director of the Commercialism in Education Research Unit (CERU), and Research Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. His work has examined curriculum and instruction topics, market-based education reforms, and policy formation. He directed the Center for Education Research, Analysis, and Innovation (CERAI) at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and for six years (1995-2001) was the principal investigator for the research evaluation of Wisconsin’s SAGE class size reduction program. From 2001-2011 he directed the Education Policy Studies Research Laboratory (EPSL) at Arizona State University.  Molnar is an internationally recognized expert on school commercialism; his annual reports on commercializing trends in schools have become standard reference works for experts in the field. His most recent books are Commercialism in education: From democratic ideal to market commodity (2005), Think tank research quality: Lessons for policymakers, the media, and the public (with Kevin Welner, Pat Hinchey and Don Weitzman) (2010), and Sold Out: How Marketing in School Threatens Children's Well-Being and Undermines their Education (with Faith Boninger) (2015). Molnar has a B.A. in history, political science, and education; Masters degrees in history and in social welfare; a Specialist's Certificate in educational administration; and a Ph.D. in urban education. 


Alex Molnar

Bill Mathis, Managing Director


William J. Mathis is the managing director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the former superintendent of schools for the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union in Brandon, Vermont. He was a National Superintendent of the Year finalist and a Vermont Superintendent of the Year. He currently serves on the Vermont State Board of Education and chairs the legislative committee.  He has published or presented research on finance, assessment, accountability, standards, school vouchers, cost-effectiveness, education reform, history, special education, and Constitutional issues.

Gene Glass

Gene Glass, Senior Researcher


Gene V Glass is a research professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and Regents' Professor Emeritus from Arizona State University. Trained originally in statistics, his interests broadened to include psychotherapy research, evaluation methodology, and policy analysis. He was twice (1968, 1970) honored with the Palmer O. Johnson award of the American Educational Research Association; in 1984, he received the Paul Lazarsfeld Award of the American Evaluation Association. He is a recipient of the Cattell Award of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology. His work on meta-analysis of psychotherapy outcomes (with M.L. Smith) was named as one of the Forty Studies that Changed Psychology in the book of the same name by Roger R. Hock (1999). His Ph.D. was awarded by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in educational psychology with a minor in statistics.

Faith Boninger, Research Associate


Faith Boninger researches and writes about commercial activities in schools. She brings to this work a background in social psychology (Ph.D., Ohio State University), particularly an interest in persuasion and communication processes. For the past several years she has co-authored CERU’s Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends. Additional publications include A National Survey of the Types and Extent of the Marketing of Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value in Schools, with Alex Molnar, David Garcia, and Bruce Merrill (2006) and Policy and Statutory Responses to Advertising and Marketing in Schools, with Alex Molnar and Bill Koski (2010). Her book, Sold Out: How Marketing in School Threatens Children's Well-Being and Undermines their Education, with Alex Molnar, was released in 2015.

Ken Libby

Ken Libby, Doctoral Student Researcher


Ken Libby is a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. He received his MAT from the Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and a bachelor's degree in communication from Lewis and Clark College.

Ryan Pfleger, Doctoral Student Researcher


Ryan Pfleger is a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. He is broadly interested in using social scientific and philosophical lenses to shed light on issues of inequity connected to schooling. Currently, he focuses on the economic contexts, both material and ideological, that influence education policy and practice. Before coming to Colorado, Ryan worked in the film and video industry, did masters work in Education, Culture, and Society at the University of Pennsylvania, and received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at American University.

Joshua Prudhomme

Joshua Prudhomme, Doctoral Student Researcher


Joshua Prudhomme is a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. He received his B.A. in Psychology with a cross-cultural emphasis from the University of San Diego. He worked in foster care and mental health settings with vulnerable youth prior to beginning his Ph.D studies. His interests include studying the confluence of K-12 general and special education, mental health, and juvenile justice policies that affect foster youth and other vulnerable populations (e.g., low-income, students of color); social justice and critical education; equity-focused policy; cross-sector and -system collaboration; program development and evaluation.

Tamara Milbourn

Tamara Milbourn, Doctoral Student Researcher


Tamara Milbourn is a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. She received her BA in English Literature and Communication Arts and her MA in English (Applied English Linguistics) from the University of Wisconsin--Madison. She worked for 15 years as an ESL/EFL teacher before beginning her Ph.D., with experience teaching and curriculum writing in Taiwan, Japan, Benin, and the US. Her interests include researching the various impacts of increasing enrollment of international students in American institutions of higher education and examining the role international test comparisons (e.g., TIMSS and PISA) play in educational reform.