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.


NEPC Fellows have a wide range of expertise bearing on education policy issues. They also have considerable experience speaking with members of the media about their work and about current issues. Please feel free to contact a fellow directly, using the subject-area information we've provided.

Our fellows have a wide range of expertise bearing on education policy issues. They also have considerable experience speaking with members of the media about their work and about current issues. Please feel free to contact a fellow directly, using the subject-area information we've provided. Or you may contact NEPC Director Kevin Welner at welner@colorado.edu or managing director Bill Mathis at william.mathis@colorado.edu, and they will put you in touch with an appropriate expert.


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

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.

Bill Mathis

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.

Michelle Renée

Michelle Renée Valladares, Associate Director

Michelle Renée Valladares is Associate Director of the National Education Policy Center.  She has a PhD in education from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She supports the development and implementation of equitable education policies by conducting original research and building collaborations across education sectors. Her collaborative work with NEPC fellow Tina Trujillo examines the systemic impact of school turnaround on low income communities.   Prior to joining NEPC, Michelle was Associate Director and Assistant Clinical Professor at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR).  At AISR, she led the Ford Foundation-funded Time for Equity Indicators Project, which developed and supports the use of a comprehensive set of indicators that measure how expanded time and learning opportunities can transform the lives of students, the structure of schools, and the power of communities. Michelle was a post-doctoral fellow at UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access and worked as a legislative assistant to then-Congressman Tom Udall.

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

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.

Elaine Duggan

Elaine Duggan, Communications Assistant

Elaine Duggan is NEPC’s production coordinator and website consultant. 

She has a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago. She has worked in editing and graphic design for over 20 years.

Julia Daniel

Julia Daniel, Doctoral Student Researcher

Julia Daniel is a PhD student at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is committed to community organizing, having worked in organizing Florida around issues of racial, gender and economic justice. Most of this work centered on ending the schoolhouse-to-jailhouse pipeline for Black and Latino students in Miami by working with impacted young people in demanding alternatives such as restorative justice. She holds an B.A. in Sociology from New College of Florida and an M.A. in Urban Education Policy from Brown 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.