Susan Fuhrman Concludes Her NAEd Presidency | Teachers College Columbia University

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Susan Fuhrman Concludes Her NAEd Presidency

Completing her four-year presidency of the National Academy of Education, TC President Susan Fuhrman said that "There has never been a more important time to ensure that education research is applicable to policy and practice."

“There has never been a more important time to ensure that education research is applicable to policy and practice – and to encourage policymakers and practitioners to use high-quality research to inform what they do.”

With those words, delivered this past week in Washington, D.C., TC President Susan Fuhrman concluded her four-year presidency of the National Academy of Education (NAEd).

Fuhrman said she was proudest of her efforts to establish NAEd as a “life course” organization – one that addresses the development of education scholars across their careers, fostering mentoring across the generations.

She noted that on her watch the Academy launched its pre-doctoral fellows program and has also worked to increase the participation of post-doctoral fellows, current and past, across the board.

Fuhrman also discussed the research efforts of the Academy and said that making research more valued by policy and practitioner audiences remains a big challenge. 

“Our reports cannot go beyond their consensual conclusions – but we need to find ways to push the policy implications of this research,” she said.

She pointed to recent NAEd opinion pieces, based on the Academy’s reports, that have focused on the use of value-added methodologies in teacher evaluation and privacy concerns around big data use in education as examples of something the Academy will do more of in the future.

Prior to Fuhrman’s remarks, former NAEd president Lorrie Shepard, Professor of Research and Evaluation Methodology and Dean of the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, read aloud a proclamation from the Academy’s members saluting Fuhrman’s accomplishments as president.  These included  significant expansion of NAEd fellowship programs, including the addition of the NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program, which offers “unparalleled opportunities for emerging scholars”; engagement in important policy issues such as guidance to the U.S. Department of Education on use of its longitudinal surveys for education research; guiding NAEd into a period of financial stability and growth; and positioning the Academy to more fully realize the potential of its interdisciplinary and intergenerational membership and fellowship alumni base.  

Fuhrman will be succeeded as NAEd president by Michael Feuer, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the George Washington University. Yet she may have reason to spend time in Washington, D.C. in the not-too-distant future: She was recently one of three individuals nominated to serve as the president of the American Educational Research Association during its 100th anniversary in 2016.

Published Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013