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Wells to Head Equity Campaign Research Initiative

Dr. Amy Stuart Wells, an internationally known expert on school desegregation and school choice, has been named to lead a wide-ranging research initiative for the Campaign for Educational Equity.

Through the new initiative, Teachers College faculty members will produce a series of "white papers," called Reviews of Research that will summarize existing knowledge, identify unanswered questions and highlight inequities in 12 key areas deemed critical to a quality education.

The first of these Reviews,  on the topic of early childhood education, has been written by Sharon Lynn Kagan, Professor of Early Childhood Policy, Co-Director of the National Center on Children and Families, Associate Dean for Policy, and the Director of the Office of Policy and Research at Teachers College.

"The Research Initiative will build on the Campaign's focus on comprehensive solutions to educational inequalities which includes both within and out-of-school factors that affect children's chances to succeed academically," said Michael Rebell, executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity.

"The 12 -'educational essentials' that the Campaign has identified as necessary for all students to receive an equitable and comprehensive education are the organizing principles for these Reviews of Research," said Wells, whose title is Deputy Director for Research. These -'essentials' include not only school-based factors, such as high quality teaching, but also broader factors such as health care services and family support."  

Wells, Professor of Sociology and Education at Teachers College, was the principal investigator of a widely publicized five-year study in which adults who attended racially mixed high schools discussed their experiences. (Her forthcoming book, Both Sides Now, which will be published by Harvard University Press, is based on the study.) In October 2006, Wells also filed an amicus brief in the Seattle and Kentucky voluntary school integration case that the United States Supreme Court will hear in December.  Wells' brief focuses specifically on the long-term benefits of integration -- both for the individuals who have lived through it and society as a whole.

In addition, TC Professor Emeritus Edmund Gordon, Senior Advisor to the Campaign, has assumed a more active role on a wide range of Campaign activities. The Institute of Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College, founded and directed by Gordon, will now be fully incorporated into the Campaign.

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