Robert Balfanz

Robert Balfanz

Dr. Robert Balfanz is a research scientist at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University and associate director of the Talent Development Middle and High School Project. Balfanz has published widely on secondary school reform, high school dropouts, and instructional interventions in high-poverty schools. His research background includes developing, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive whole-school reforms and translating research findings into effective reforms for high-poverty secondary schools. To contact Balfanz, visit the Johns Hopkins website.

David Chard

David Chard

Dr. David Chard became Wheelock College’s 14th President on July 1, 2016. He was previously Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he created a strategic vision focused on undergraduate and graduate programs built on evidence-based practices. Chard also served as associate dean for the College of Education at the University of Oregon. He has held faculty appointments at both Boston University and The University of Texas at Austin and in the late 1990s served as associate director of the Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts at UT Austin.

Chard earned a Ph.D. in special education at the University of Oregon in 1995 and a B.S. in mathematics and chemistry education from Central Michigan University in 1985. His scholarly focus has been on the role of instruction in the development of basic literacy and numeracy skills for students with learning disabilities or those at risk for school failure. He has co-directed a number of federally funded model demonstration projects and research studies, and he has directed or co-directed several state and regional grants and contracts that have examined the improvement of schools and student achievement through the development of teachers’ knowledge and practice.

Chard has published several research articles; co-authored and contributed to multiple book chapters; and either written or co-written numerous technical reports, monographs, and training guides. A frequent presenter at national and international education conferences, he has taught courses on behavior management, special education reading and writing, learning disabilities, and special education law. To contact Chard, visit the Wheelock College website.

Mark Dynarski

Mark Dynarski

Mark Dynarski is founder and president of Pemberton Research, which focuses on understanding and utilizing research evidence in decision making. Previously, he was vice president and director of the Center for Improving Research Evidence at Mathematica Policy Research. He also previously served as director of the What Works Clearinghouse at the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education, and as director and principal investigator of numerous education programs with a focus on at-risk children and youth. Currently he is a senior fellow (nonresident) at the Brown Center for Education Policy at the Brookings Institute.
Dynarski is an advisor to government agencies, philanthropies, and nonprofit organizations. He is well known for his expertise in econometrics and evaluation methodology, including the design, implementation, and analysis of evaluations of education programs using random assignment and quasi-experimental designs
Dynarski has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, including Educational Researcher, Educational Leadership, and Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk. He is also on the editorial boards of Effective Education and The Elementary School Journal.
Dynarski earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the Johns Hopkins University and holds a B.A. in economics from the State University of New York at Geneseo. He also was a tenured professor of economics at the University of California, Davis, where he taught theory, statistics, and econometrics.

Art Graesser

Art Graesser

Dr. Art Graesser is co-director of the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis, editor of Journal of Educational Psychology, and president of the Society for Text and Discourse and Artificial Intelligence in Education. Graesser has published more than 400 articles in journals, books, and conference proceedings; written two books; and edited nine books. His research background is in cognitive science, discourse processing, and the learning sciences—specifically, knowledge representation, question asking and answering, tutoring, text comprehension, inference generation, conversation, reading, education, memory, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interaction. To contact Graesser, visit the University of Memphis website.

Steve Graham

Steve Graham

Dr. Steve Graham is the Warner Professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University. Graham is the author of Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High SchoolHandbook of Writing ResearchHandbook of Learning DisabilitiesWriting Better, Making the Writing Process WorkBest Practices in Writing Instruction, and more than 135 articles. He is the editor of Exceptional Children. His research background is in learning disabilities, literacy, writing, and self-regulation—specifically, identifying the factors that contribute to writing development and writing difficulties, developing and validating effective instructional procedures for teaching writing, and using technology to enhance writing performance. To contact Graham, visit the Arizona State website.