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NEPC and Its Work Win Awards at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting

National Education Policy Center and contributors recognized
for contributions to theory and practice of teaching


William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058,

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Boulder, CO (April 17, 2014) - The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) was honored with the 2014 Wisniewski award by the Society of Professors of Education, and scholars Tina Trujillo and Michelle Renée won AERA’s Division L best policy report award for their NEPC publication, Democratic School Turnarounds: Pursuing Equity and Learning from Evidence.

Each year the Society of Professors of Education’s Wiesniewski award is given to an institution that has made a significant contribution to the theory and practice of teacher education. In choosing to honor NEPC, the Society of Professors of Education wrote, “While we believe all of NEPC's work addresses concerns of the Society, we see recent NEPC publications such as those by [University of Pittsburgh professor Rich Milner] (2013) and [by UT Austin professor Julian Vasquez Heilig and California State University, Sacramento professor Su Jin Jez] (2014) as exemplifying critical contributions to the field of teacher education. We consider the work of the Center to be vitally important, and we have chosen to formally recognize it by the presentation of this award.”

The Milner report cited by the award committee examines whether and in what ways contemporary reforms including the narrowing of curriculum, fast-track teaching credentials, and the evaluation of teachers by test scores have the effect of deprofessionalizing teaching. The Heilig and Jez reportprovides a critical analysis of the available data about the impact of Teach for America on school and teacher performance.

Democratic School Turnarounds: Pursuing Equity and Learning from Evidence, by Tina Trujillo and Michelle Renée, won its AERA award for an exploration the democratic tensions inherent in the current federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program’s market-based school reforms, particularly its school turnaround mandate that requires large-scale teacher and principal layoffs. Trujillo and Renée found a consistent lack of success for turnaround mandates like those prescribed by the SIG program. Their analysis was accompanied by model code legislation, authored by Tara Kini.

Find the Trujillo, Renée and Kini reports at

Find the Milner report at

Find the Heilig & Jez report at

Learn more about the Society of Professors of Education at

Learn more about AERA’s Division L at

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.  For more information on NEPC, please visit