Diane Ravitch’s Blog: Wonderful News! Kevin Welner of NEPC Honored by American Educational Research Association

One of the most reliable sources for analysis of education research is the National Education Policy Center. 

The American Educational Research Association has just honored the NEPC director Kevin Welner for his role in leading the organization and the fine work that it does. If you recall, in addition to its regular reports on research and its reviews of think tank products, NEPC produces an annual Bunkum Award to the worst education research of the year.

BOULDER, CO (April 24, 2017) – NEPC Director Kevin Welner has been awarded the 2017 American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award. The award honors scholars exemplary in their capacity to communicate important education research to the public, including education communities. It recognizes a scholar who has demonstrated the capacity to deepen the public’s understanding and appreciation of the value of education research in civic decision-making.

Welner is a well-known interpreter of education research for general audiences. He appears regularly in the media, presents at public forums, and has authored numerous op-ed essays on education policy topics. His work has been showcased in the Washington Post “Answer Sheet” blog as well as on NPR’s “Here and Now.” In addition he was a keynote speaker at the White House Reach Higher conference “Beating the Odds: Successful Strategies from Schools & Youth Agencies that Build Ladders of Opportunity.”

After learning of his award, Welner commented, “The accomplishments this award recognizes rest on a foundation laid over the past two decades by many others. Alex Molnar’s work at the Center for Education Research Analysis and Innovation (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and the Education Policy Studies Laboratory (Arizona State University); Jeanne Oakes’s work at the Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (UCLA); and Ken Howe’s work at the Education and Public Interest Center (CU Boulder) have all helped make what I’m doing possible.” Welner went on to note that he works with talented colleagues on the NEPC staff and across the country. “The NEPC staff and NEPC’s 125 fellows make enormous contributions to our collective effort. Providing high-quality research and analysis in support of democratic deliberation about ​education policy is the mission of NEPC. This award tells me that we are on course.”

NEPC co-founder and Publications Director, Alex Molnar, praised Welner, commenting, “I can think of no one more deserving of this award. It is an honor to work with such a talented and ethical scholar whose enduring commitment to equity, social justice, and democratic decision-making enriches our scholarship, improves education practice, and strengthens our civic life.”

I am happy to add Kevin Welner to the honor roll of this blog, an award that is harder to achieve than the Academy Award or an Emmy.

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Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She serves on the board of the Core Knowledge Foundation, Common Core, the Albert Shanker Institute of the American Federation of Teachers, and Common Good. She is an honorary life trustee of the New...