Ford School professor Kevin Stange, faculty co-director of the Education Policy Initiative, has joined the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) Office of the Chief Economist for one-year. He will be joining Ford School alum, Deputy Under Secretary Jordan Matsudaira (PhD ‘05), the department’s first-ever chief economist. That office is tasked with ”providing analysis and advice to guide real-time policymaking, conducting rigorous research to further key elements of the Department’s learning agenda, building a culture of experimentation, including partnerships with leading social science researchers to pilot-test new ways to serve students and borrowers, and serving as a liaison to the research community.”
Stange’s work at USED will utilize his wealth of experience examining challenges faced by K-12 school systems, colleges and universities across the country and evaluating potential solutions. Using unique data spanning across all 50 states, Stange and his colleagues will work with experts from the Office of the Chief Data Officer, the Institute of Education Sciences, Budget Services, and Federal Student aid.
In announcing the office of the chief economist in June, Undersecretary James Kvaal, a former Ford School Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence (2016), noted that, “Leading colleges and universities are already finding proven solutions and using data to identify areas in need of improvement and evidence-based strategies to address them, evaluate the success of their efforts, and measure their progress. As Chief Economist, Jordan will help the Department of Education lead by example, and I hope the broader research community will find him a helpful ally in helping the Department and the field to better integrate cutting-edge research and evidence into practice and policy.”
Among the other economists he will be joining is Lesley J. Turner (BA/MPP ‘05), who was a visiting professor at the Ford School in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Stange said, “I am thrilled to help build this new institution [USED Office of the Chief Economist], humbled by the opportunity, and delighted to work with such fantastic folks.”