Led by Brian Rowan, a research team at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) has begun a multiyear evaluation of the Excellence for All initiative. The evaluation has three major components:
Brian Rowan is the Burke A. Hinsdale Collegiate Professor in Education, Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. A sociologist by training (Ph.D., Stanford, 1978), Rowan’s scholarly interests lie at the intersection of organization theory and school effects research. For over thirty years, he has written on education as an institution, on the nature of school organization, leadership, and instructional practice, and on the effects of these factors on student achievement. Since 1998, Rowan has been Study Director for A Study of Instructional Improvement (a large-scale, longitudinal study of the design, implementation, and instructional effectiveness of three of America’s largest comprehensive school reform initiatives) and as a principal investigator of Understanding Teaching Quality (a large study of teaching effectiveness). In conducting these studies, Rowan has worked with leading researchers on issues related to the measurement of instruction and teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, on the development of new approaches to causal inference in research on teaching and school evaluation, on the use of large-scale surveys and video observations in the study of school, classroom, and teacher effects on students’ achievement, and on the analysis of trends in the school improvement industry. In addition, Rowan has extensive experience working in international settings. In 1997 and 1998 he was a visiting professor of education at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. From 1999-2004 he participated in the Spencer Foundation-sponsored International Education Policy Roundtable, which included twice annual information exchanges among researchers and policy makers from France, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom. In 2005 he was part of a delegation of leading U.S. scholars to China, where he worked with Chinese policy makers and education researchers to develop an agenda for collaboration and joint research. And, for the past two years, Rowan has worked as presenter and participant in Van Leer Foundation’s Directors General Workshop that brings together top education ministry officials for information exchange and policy development, including most recently, ministry officials from Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.