Research, Policy, and Practice: The Role of Intermediaries in Promoting Policies

Research, Policy, and Practice: The Role of Intermediaries in Promoting Policies
Research, Policy, and Practice: The Role of Intermediaries in Promoting Policies


There have been increased calls for the use of research to inform education policy and practice. However, many barriers often prevent researchers, policymakers and practitioners from working together effectively. In addition to limited understanding of research among policymakers and practitioners, researchers’ agendas often do not coordinate with practitioner needs. As district leaders consider policy and program changes, intermediaries like advocacy groups, philanthropies, and think tanks can play a critical role in disseminating and interpreting research.

On February 27th, AYPF hosted a webinar highlighting the role of intermediaries in promoting research to policymakers in education. Presenters include Dr. Chris Lubienski, Professor at University of Illinois and Principal Investigator of “How Do Intermediary Organizations Promote Research Evidence for Educational Policymaking?”; Dr. Kevin Welner, Professor at University of Colorado and Director of the National Education Policy Center; and Kim Nauer, Education Project Director, The New School for Public Engagement, Center for New York City Affairs.


Presenters Included:

Chris Lubienski, Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Kevin Welner, Professor, University of Colorado and Director, National Education Policy Center

Kim Nauer, Education Project Director, The New School for Public Engagement Center for New York City Affairs

Presenter Biographies

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Christopher Lubienski is a professor of education policy, and the Director of the Forum on the Future of Public Education at the University of Illinois.  He is also a Fellow with the National Education Policy Center, and Sir Walter Murdoch Visiting Professor at Murdoch University in Western Australia.  He recently convened, and is co-director (with Kalervo Gulson) of, an international research network on marketization and privatization in education.  His research focuses on education policy and the political economy of education reform with a particular concern for issues of equity, access and information.  Lubienski is currently working with Janelle Scott and Elizabeth DeBray on a project with the William T. Grant Foundation on how intermediary organizations broker research evidence for policymaking.  After earning a PhD in education policy and social analysis at Michigan State University, Lubienski held post-doctoral fellowships with the National Academy of Education and with the Advanced Studies Program at Brown University.  He was recently a visiting scholar at Monash University in Melbourne, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar in New Zealand, where he studies schools’ organizational behavior and student enrollment patterns.  In addition to The Charter School Experiment: Expectations, Evidence, and Implications (with Peter Weitzel, Harvard Education Press), Lubienski recently published The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools (with Sarah Theule Lubienski, University of Chicago Press).

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Kim Nauer, Education Research Director for the Center for New York City Affairs and at The New School. Kim Nauer runs the Center for New York City Affairs Schools Watch Initiative, a seven-year-old project focused on creating a more effective school system for New York City’s most disadvantaged students. She also assists with research and data analysis work. Kim has co-authored major reports on New York City school administration and accountability, high school reform, chronic absenteeism, college preparation and financial aid access. Before joining the Center, Kim directed strategic initiatives at The Nation Institute, a think tank and foundation associated with The Nation. Kim also served as executive director of City Limits magazine and the Center for an Urban Future and was an award-winning journalist for many years prior.

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Kevin G. Welner is a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, School of Education, specializing in educational policy and law. He is director of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at CU Boulder. Welner earned both his J.D. (1988) and Ph.D (1997) from UCLA. His present research examines the use and misuse of research in policymaking and explores various issues concerning the intersection between education rights litigation and educational opportunity scholarship. He also continues to examine issues of tracking and detracking. His past research studied small-school reform, tuition-tax-credit vouchers, and the change process associated with equity-minded reform efforts – reforms aimed at benefiting those who hold less powerful school and community positions. Welner has received the Early Career Award (in 2006) and Palmer O. Johnson Award (best article in 2004) from the American Educational Research Association, and has been made a Fellow of that Association. He has also received the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Residency and the Post-Doctoral Fellowship awarded by the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation. His most recent book is Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance.




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Click here to view part 3 of the slideshow

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Click here to view part 5 of the slideshow

Presenter Information:

Chris Lubienski


University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

338 Education Building

1310 S. 6th St.

Champaign, IL 61820


Kim Nauer

Education Project Director

The New School for Public Engagement Center for New York City Affairs

72 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor

New York, NY 10011


Kevin Welner


University of Colorado and Director, National Education Policy Center

School of Education, 249 UCB

University of Colorado

Boulder, Colorado 80309-0249




The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.