Speakers

Mireille Bétrancourt, University of Geneva

Henry Braun, Boston College

Arne Carlsen, UNESCO

Matthias von Davier, ETS

Charles Fadel, Center for Curriculum Redesign

Ariel Fiszbein, World Bank

Jan-Eric Gustafsson, University of Gothenburg

David Kaplan, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ken Mayhew, Oxford University

Mike McCurry, Principal, Public Strategies Washington, Inc.

Richard Murnane, Harvard University

Jan Pakulski, European Commission

Glenda Quintini, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Jean-Francois Rouet, French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Andreas Schleicher, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Guido Schwerdt, University of Siegen

Rolf K.W. van der Velden, Maastricht University

Bob Wise, Alliance for Excellent Education

Kentaro Yamamoto, ETS

Lei Zhang, Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

Mireille Bétrancourt

Mireille Bétrancourt is a professor of information technology and learning processes at the Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Geneva.

She is the head of the TECFA lab, a research and teaching unit that explores the impact of emerging information technology on learning and teaching processes. Her current research explores three areas: 1) learning from multimedia information, particularly using dynamic visualizations or animation together with text information; 2) design and exploration of computer-supported collaborative learning systems; and 3) cognitive engineering of educational technology and information systems. She is also involved in pre-service teacher training, addressing the way to use computer technology in the classroom to foster students' learning. She is the author or co-author of a large body of scientific papers on those topics and serves on the scientific committees of many journals and conferences in the field. Her research goals are to advance the scientific knowledge on learning and teaching with computer technology, as well as provide recommendations for the design of effective computer-supported instructional documents and systems.

After studying cognitive and social psychology, Bétrancourt received a master's in cognitive sciences, followed by a Ph.D. from the Grenoble Polytechnic Institute in 1996. She received several postdoctoral fellowships, including one with Barbara Tversky at Stanford University, before being appointed full professor at the University of Geneva in 2003.

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Henry Braun

Henry Braun has held the position of Boisi Professor of Education and Public Policy in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College since 2007. After serving as an assistant professor of statistics at Princeton University, he joined ETS in 1979, where he held a series of increasingly responsible positions. He was vice president for research management from 1990–1999 and held the title of distinguished presidential appointee from 1999–2006.

Braun has published broadly in probability, statistics, and educational measurement, and he has consulted for a variety of private, public, and governmental organizations. He was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1991 and is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. He is a co-recipient of the 1986 Palmer O. Johnson Award of the American Educational Research Association and a co-recipient of the National Council for Measurement in Education’s 1999 Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution to the Field of Educational Measurement.

Braun’s interests include school and teacher accountability, the role of testing in education policy, the analysis of large-scale survey data, and standard setting. He is a member of a number of state and national advisory groups on testing and accountability and is currently working on validity issues related to teacher evaluation. In recent years, he has published on a variety of topics, including the Black-White achievement gap, comparative school effectiveness, applications of multilevel modeling, the role of literacy in economic and social welfare, and test design. He has done considerable work in the area of value-added modeling and was a major contributor to the OECD monograph, Measuring Improvements in Learning Outcomes: Best Practices to Assess the Value-Added of Schools (2008).

Braun earned a B.S. (Hon.) in mathematics from McGill University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Stanford University.

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Arne Carlsen

Arne Carlsen has been director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) since 2011. He has pursued a double career, teaching both in adult education and at the university level. He has worked in prison education, education for political refugees, education for the unemployed and general education for adults. After a period as a teacher in a folk high school in Denmark, he became secretary-general of the Nordic Folk High School Council. In the 1990s, he was director at the Nordic Folk Academy in Sweden, training leaders and teachers in adult education from the five Nordic and the three Baltic countries.

Before coming to UIL, he was first a researcher at the Danish National Institute for Educational Research, then was vice-rector for education at the Danish University of Education, and finally was the international director at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University. He was previously responsible for Denmark's studies in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). He was founding chair of the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning — a network of 40 universities from Asian and European countries. He has been executive director of the International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes (IALEI) — a global think tank in education policy — and manager of the Erasmus Mundus Joint European Masters Programme in Lifelong Learning for Policy and Management.

He is chairman of the editorial board of the International Review of Education — Journal of Lifelong Learning and is on the advisory board for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report. He has been a visiting professor at universities in China, Malaysia, Romania, Lithuania, and Germany. He is an honorary professor at research institutions in Russia, India, and Hungary and holds honorary doctorates in Vietnam and Latvia.

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Matthias von Davier

Matthias von Davier is a research director at ETS, an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Oxford and the editor of the British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology. He received the ETS Research Scientist Award in 2006 and the Bradley Hanson Award for Contributions to Educational Measurement in 2012. His research interests are item response theory (including extended Rasch models as well as mixture distribution models for item response data), latent structure models, diagnostic classification models, computational statistics, and research on advanced psychometric methods for international large-scale surveys of educational outcomes.

He received his Ph.D., specializing in psychometric methods, from the University of Kiel in Germany in 1996.

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Charles Fadel

Charles Fadel is a global education thought leader, expert, and inventor. He is the founder and chairman of the Center for Curriculum Redesign. He is also a visiting scholar for Harvard's Graduate School of Education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Experimental Study Group, and the University of Pennsylvania's Chief Learning Officer program; co-author of the best-selling book 21st Century Skills; founder and president of the Fondation Helvetica Educatio (Geneva, Switzerland); senior fellow, human capital at The Conference Board; senior fellow at P21.org; board member of Innovate+Educate; and angel investor with Beacon Angels. He has worked with education systems and institutions in more than 30 countries. He was formerly global education lead at Cisco Systems. He holds a BSEE, an MBA, and five patents.

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Ariel Fiszbein

Ariel Fiszbein is chief economist for the Human Development Network at the World Bank. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the World Bank in 1991 were he started his career as Country Economist for Colombia. He has held several positions, including that of coordinator of the poverty reduction team at the World Bank Institute, coordinator of the Bank's program in human development for the southern cone countries in Latin America, lead economist in the Human Development Department for Latin America and the Caribbean, and adviser to the Bank's chief economist and senior vice president for development economics. In the latter position, he coordinated the Bank's Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) initiative for several years.

Fiszbein has published extensively on a range of social policy issues. Most recently, he co-authored Conditional Cash Transfers: Reducing Present and Future Poverty. He has taught at the Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires and was the secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) from 1998–2005.

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Jan-Eric Gustafsson

Jan-Eric Gustafsson has been professor of education at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden since 1986. His early research in the late 1970s had a strong methodological orientation, and he was an early contributor to the development of IRT. During the 1980s, his research primarily focused on individual differences in cognitive abilities, and he developed a new model of the structure of cognitive abilities, which has had considerable influence. From the early 1990s, his research has come to be broadened to encompass measurement and analysis of determinants of outcomes of education, and in this work, international studies have successively become more prominent. During the 1990s, he conducted secondary analysis projects focusing on the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) international comparative studies in which the methodology of two-level structural equation modeling was adopted and refined. In the early 2000s, he was engaged in the PIRLS project in Sweden, and he has become increasingly involved in the design and analysis of data from international comparative studies of educational achievement.

Since 2004, Gustafsson has been a member of the IEA Technical Executive Group. In 1993, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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David Kaplan

David Kaplan is professor of quantitative methods and chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; he holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Population Health Sciences.

Kaplan has been a consultant on numerous projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education (Institute of Education Sciences and National Center for Education Statistics), the National Science Foundation, and the OECD. He has been a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 5), and was a Jeanne Griffith Fellow at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Kaplan's current program of research focuses on the development of Bayesian methods applied to experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational education research. In the experimental setting, he is particularly interested in the development of Bayesian optimal designs for randomized experiments. In the quasi-experimental setting and observational settings, his current focus of research is on the development and application of Bayesian propensity score analysis and Bayesian causal mediation analysis. Kaplan's collaborative research involves applications of advanced quantitative methodologies to problems in educational psychology, human development, and international comparative education. He is most actively involved in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), where he has served on its technical advisory group and currently serves on its questionnaire expert group.

Kaplan received his Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987. He then joined the faculty of the University of Delaware, where he remained until 2006.

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Ken Mayhew

Ken Mayhew is professor of education and economic performance at Oxford University and fellow and tutor in economics at Pembroke College, Oxford. He is also director of the Economic and Social Research Council's Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance. Founded in 1998, it is a multidisciplinary center based in Oxford University’s departments of economics and education and in Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences.

In 1989 and 1990, he was economic director at the U.K. National Economic Development Office and has worked as a consultant for many private and public sector organizations at home and abroad. His main research interests are in policy analysis, labor economics, human resource management and the economics of education and training. He has published widely in these areas. Recently, he worked on a Russell Sage Foundation project on the future of low-paid work in the wealthy world and is currently engaged in a variety of linked projects on the future of higher education. Together with David Finegold, Chris Warhurst and John Buchanan, he is editor of The Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training, due to be published shortly. Within Oxford, Mayhew has been deputy master and acting master of Pembroke College and chair of the University’s Social Studies Board. He is an editor of Oxford Economic Papers and The Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Mayhew studied modern history at Oxford and received his master’s in economics at the London School of Economics. After graduate school, he joined Her Majesty’s Treasury before moving back to Oxford.

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Mike McCurry

Mike McCurry is a partner at Public Strategies Washington, Inc., where he provides counsel on communications strategies and management to corporate and nonprofit clients.

He is a veteran political strategist and spokesperson with nearly 35 years of experience in Washington, D.C. McCurry served in the White House as press secretary to President Bill Clinton (1995–1998). He also served as spokesman for the Department of State (1993–1995) and director of communications for the Democratic National Committee (1988–1990). McCurry held a variety of leadership roles in national campaigns for the Democratic ticket (1984–2004).

McCurry began his career on the staff of the U.S. Senate, working as press secretary to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and to the committee's chairman, Senator Harrison A. Williams Jr. (1976–1981). He also served as press secretary to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1981–1983).

He serves on numerous boards or advisory councils, including Share Our Strength, the Junior Statesmen Foundation, the Children's Scholarship Fund, the Wesley Theological Seminary, and the United Methodist Commission on Communications. He is also co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates.

McCurry received his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in 1976 and a Master of Arts from Georgetown University in 1985. Additionally, he recently earned a master’s degree in theology from Wesley Theological Seminary.

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Richard Murnane

Richard Murnane, an economist, is the Thompson Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In recent years, he has pursued three lines of research. With Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Frank Levy and David Autor, he has examined how computer-based technological change has affected skill demands in the U.S. economy, and the effectiveness of educational policies in responding to changing skill demands. Murnane and Levy have written two books on this topic.

The second line of research examines the sources of the growing gap in educational outcomes between children from low-income and higher-income families and the effectiveness of alternative strategies for improving the life chances of low-income children. Murnane co-edited (with Greg Duncan) the 2011 volume, Whither Opportunity: Growing Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances. He and Duncan have recently completed a book Restoring Opportunity, which will be published in early 2014.

The third line of research focuses on examining trends and explanations for U.S. high school graduation rates. Murnane’s summary of the evidence on this topic has appeared in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Economic Literature. In 2011, Murnane and his colleague, John Willett, published the book Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research.

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Jan Pakulski

Jan Pakulski joined the European Commission in 2009. Prior to his current assignment, he worked for 16 years for the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where he held numerous positions in the Bank's operational complex as well as the external affairs and operational services vice-presidencies. He has an extensive track record of project management, primarily in social sectors, and he has held management as well as advisory positions related to bank-funded operations in the Europe and Central Asia region.

Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked as an expert in the area of social development for the Netherlands government, the European Commission’s Phare program, the Council of Europe, and other agencies. Following his university graduation, he worked as executive director of a Netherlands-based international NGO network, working in the area of development education and social justice and traveling extensively through the developing world.

He holds an M.A. in economics from the Warsaw School of Economics and a doctorandus degree in development economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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Glenda Quintini

Glenda Quintini is an economist in the OECD's Employment Analysis and Policy division. Quintini joined the OECD in 2002 and has contributed to several research areas within the division.

She is currently managing the division's new OECD Survey of Adult Skills for PIAAC, development of the OECD Skills Strategy, and work on skills mismatch and skills use at work. She is also in charge of policy review to help displaced workers back into jobs, with a particular focus on the implication of job displacement for skills use.

Quintini has done extensive work on youth and contributed to the Jobs for Youth series, focusing on school-to-work transitions and the difficulties faced by youth in the labor market in 16 OECD countries. In the context of this series, she has worked on reports for Greece, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, and co-authored two papers on the labor market performance of youth, published in the OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers series. Previously, Quintini contributed to the division’s annual publication — The Employment Outlook — with her work focusing on the link between labor market institutions and employment outcomes and make work pay policies.

Before joining OECD, Quintini worked at Credit Suisse First Boston and the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) of the London School of Economics. While at CEP, she published a number of papers on job insecurity, public sector pay, nominal wage rigidity, the wage curve, and labor market institutions in well-known economic journals.

Quintini holds a Ph.D. in economics from Oxford University.

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Jean-François Rouet

Jean-François Rouet is a senior research scientist with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research). His research focuses on human cognition, literacy and information technology. Rouet’s work focuses on understanding how people become skilled users of complex information systems, including printed and electronic documents. He has published many papers in international scholarly journals and has authored or edited several books (including The Skills of Document Use: From Text Comprehension to Web-based Learning, 2006, Erlbaum, and Understanding Multimedia Documents with R. Lowe and W. Schnotz, 2008, Springer).

Rouet currently serves as associate editor of the journal Learning and Instruction and as editorial board member for several other academic journals. He also serves as an expert consultant with the French Ministry of Education and with PISA and PIAAC. A former director of the Center for Research on Cognition and Learning at the Université de Poitiers (2004–2011), he teaches in various university programs. He is a member of the French Psychological Society, the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), and the Society for Text and Discourse (STD).

After receiving a doctorate in psychology from the Université de Poitiers (France) in 1991, Rouet spent several years at the Learning Research and Development Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and the Institute for Research on Informatics and Automation (Grenoble, France).

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Andreas Schleicher

Andreas Schleicher is deputy director for education and skills and special adviser on education policy to the secretary-general of the OECD. He also provides strategic oversight for OECD's work on the development and utilization of skills and their social and economic outcomes. This includes PISA, PIAAC, the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems. Before joining the OECD, he was director for analysis IEA.

Schleicher studied physics in Germany and received a degree in mathematics and statistics in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Theodor Heuss Prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for “exemplary democratic engagement.” He holds an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

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Guido Schwerdt

Guido Schwerdt is a professor of economics at the University of Siegen in Germany. Before joining the faculty in Siegen, he was a researcher at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich and at the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University. He also participated as a member of the project team in the creation of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) and is a member of the Committee for the Economics of Education of the German Economics Association.

Schwerdt's research interests include public economics, the economics of education, labor economics, and productivity analysis. His research has appeared in international journals, including the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Population Economics, the Review of Income and Wealth, and the Economics of Education Review. He received a Ph.D. in economics from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence in 2007.

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Rolf K.W. van der Velden

Rolf K.W. van der Velden is a professor at Maastricht University in The Netherlands and program director for Education and Occupational Career at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA). He also is a fellow of the Interuniversity Center for Educational Research (ICO). He has supervised several national and international studies on the transition from school to work. He recently coordinated the international REFLEX project and was an adviser on the related Higher Education as a Generator of Strategic Competences project. Currently, he is one of the coordinators for PIAAC.

He has published many studies in the field of education, training and labor market. His current research interests include international comparisons in the transition from school to work, competence development during education, the long-term effects of education on occupational careers, overeducation and skills mismatches, and the effect of generic and specific competences on labor market outcomes.

He is a member of several research associations in the fields of social stratification, education, and labor market. In 1983, he finished his study of sociology at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. From 1983–1990, he worked at the Institute for Educational Research in Groningen, where he held the position of head of the Division of Labour Market Research. In 1991, he finished his Ph.D. thesis on social background and school success.

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Bob Wise

Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance), a nonprofit organization that has become a national leader for reforming the nation’s high schools so that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and a career. Led by Gov. Wise since 2005, the Alliance has become a respected advocate for the Common Core State Standards, deeper learning, digital learning, adolescent literacy, and other key education policy issues.

After serving a combined 24 years as governor, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and state legislator, Gov. Wise has become a sought-after speaker and adviser on education issues as well as an adviser to the U.S. Department of Education, White House, and key policymakers in the U.S. Congress. In 2010, Gov. Wise joined former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in co-chairing the Digital Learning Council, a bipartisan effort that included education leaders from across the country who met for several months. Their work culminated in the release of the "10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning" report. As governor of West Virginia from 2001–2005, he fought for and signed legislation to fund the PROMISE Scholarship program, which has helped thousands of West Virginia high school graduates continue their education in the Mountain State.

From 1983–2001, Gov. Wise served in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of West Virginia. During his tenure, he worked aggressively to preserve federal financial aid for students to attend college and served as a member on the House Committee on Education and Labor. For several terms, he was a member of the Democratic Party Leadership team as a regional whip and whip-at-large. His committee assignments during these 18 years included Transportation and Infrastructure, Government Reform and Organization, and Budget. Gov. Wise’s notable congressional accomplishments include the Chemical Right to Know legislation, the Wise Amendment to the Clean Air Act, and the first federal Mental Health Parity legislation. Gov. Wise earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a juris doctorate degree from Tulane University School of Law. He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He and his wife Sandy live in Washington, D.C., and have two grown children.

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Kentaro Yamamoto

Kentaro Yamamoto is a deputy director/principal research scientist for the Center for Global Assessment at ETS. He obtained his Ph.D. in educational psychology and his M.S. in statistics — both from the University of Illinois.

He has been a technical adviser for OECD and the U.S. Department of Education. He also has designed or contributed to the design of numerous national and international large-scale surveys of various subject domains for adults, as well as for special populations such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), TIMSS, PISA, the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), Adult Literacy and Lifeskills (ALL), and PIAAC for 25 years.

Yamamoto has designed several individual tests in reading and literacy. He also developed a psychometric model called “Hybrid,” a mixture model of continuous and discrete measurement models for diagnostic testing as well as IRT scaling that has been used for all literacy surveys at ETS. In addition, he designed the online testlet adaptive testing for Prose, Document and Quantitative adult literacy skills.

Yamamoto has written numerous reports, research papers and technical reports; contributed chapters in multiple books; and given numerous presentations at national and international conferences. He obtained his Ph.D. in educational psychology and his M.S. in statistics — both from the University of Illinois.

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Lei Zhang

Lei Zhang is an associate professor of economics at the Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China. She was the assistant director of the National Institute of Fiscal Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, from September 2010–August 2013. Before returning to China, she was an assistant professor of economics in the John E. Walker Department of Economics at Clemson University. She was the W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow and recipient of the John Stauffer National Fellowship in Public Policy at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University from September 2007–August 2008.

Her research focuses on the areas of public finance and economics of education, with a special interest in public education policies and China's social security policies. Her ongoing research spans important areas of education policies, including the impact of China's higher education expansion since the late 1990s on employment, innovation, and growth; private education spending in China; and the impact of a country’s education system on the returns to education and life-cycle employment. Another line of research studies how China's social security policies affect occupation choice, wages, and compliance.

Zhang is a Distinguished Graduate of Beijing University in China, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She received her Ph.D. in economics at Stanford University.

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