President Barack Obama has tapped a Northwestern faculty member to become a key member of the National Board for Education Sciences.
Pending confirmation from the United States Senate, Northwestern professor Larry Hedges will be one of 15 voting members on Obama's educational advisory board, which advises the Department of Education’s primary research arm.
Hedges currently serves as Northwestern's Board of Trustees Professor of Statistics and Social Policy, Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research and president of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. He has held appointments in the sociology, psychology and education departments at the University of Chicago.
Distinguished for his development of statistical methods for meta-analysis in the social, medical and biological sciences, Hedges has authored or co-authored five books and numerous journal articles, according to the Institute for Policy Research website. Some of his recent studies have examined gender differences in mental test scores for children, the black-white gap in achievement tests and frameworks for international comparative studies on education.
Obama appointed Hedges to the board along with Harvard academic dean Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa and Southern Methodist University professor Dr. David J. Chard.
"I am grateful these accomplished men and women have agreed to join this Administration, and I'm confident they will serve ably in these important roles," Obama said in an October 19 statement from the Office of the Press Secretary. "I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years."
Whether Hedges' Senate approval will come about in a timely fashion remains uncertain. Since taking office, Obama has faced Senate stalls for many of his key judicial and executive branch appointees.
Recent Senate confirmations, however, demonstrate an apparent — but perhaps temporary — thaw in the Senate freeze, and historically, Department of Education appointments have seen fewer delays and blocks. Obama's 2009 nominations of the current secretary of education and under secretary of education, Arne Duncan and Martha Kanter, were both confirmed. All Obama nominations to the National Board for Education Sciences have also been confirmed, except those submitted this month that still await Senate review, according to Whitehouse.gov.