The NCES Commissioner
Sean P. "Jack" Buckley, the new Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, said he hopes to bring a new relevance and timeliness to NCES work during this critical time of change in schools, districts and state education agencies across the country.
Buckley, confirmed last month by the U.S. Senate, was an associate professor of applied statistics at New York University. He also served as Deputy Commissioner of NCES from 2006 to 2008 under former NCES commissioner Mark Schneider. He is known for his research on school choice, particularly charter schools, and on statistical methods for public policy. His term runs through June 21, 2015.
"Jack's sterling reputation, his technical expertise and his first-hand knowledge of NCES and its many programs make him uniquely qualified to be Commissioner," said IES Director John Q. Easton. "We are all very pleased to welcome him."
Buckley said he was extremely excited to lead a center that plays such an important role in informing all areas of US education policy. His key goals will focus on ensuring that NCES increases the relevance and timeliness of its data collections and reports to policy makers and the public, and that the center's work is on the leading edge of statistical methodology in survey sampling, psychometrics, data collection, and the protection of confidentiality.
NCES collects and analyzes statistics on the condition of education, conducts long-term longitudinal studies and surveys, runs the State Longitudinal Data System program, supports international assessments, and carries out the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card.
"Issues in education ranging from the importance of early childhood learning to increasing our rate of college access to improving the United States' global standing with respect to our economic competitors will be a huge part of the policy agenda in Washington in the next few years," Buckley said. "NCES must and will play a central role in ensuring that all parties to these debates have the timely, accurate, and unbiased information they need."
Buckley was an affiliated researcher with the National Center for the Study of the Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and in 2007 he published a book with Schneider entitled Charter Schools: Hope or Hype? He served as an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University, an assistant professor at Boston College, and an instructor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Buckley spent five years in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer and nuclear reactor engineer, and he also worked as an analytic methodologist at the Central Intelligence Agency.