Mark Schneider was confirmed by the Senate as the Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on 24 October 2005 for the remainder of a term expiring June 20, 2009. NCES is one of the four centers of the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. He is on leave from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he is Distinguished Professor of political science. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina in 1974. He has written widely in the areas of urban politics and public policy. His articles have appeared in all the major political science, sociology, and policy journals. His 1989 book The Competitive City won special recognition by the American Political Science Association's Urban Politics Section for its theoretical contribution to the study of urban politics. His current work focuses on education policy and his most recent book, Choosing Schools: Consumer Choice and the Quality of American Schools (Princeton U. Press, 2000, with Paul Teske and Melissa Marschall) won the Aaron Wildavsky best book prize from the Policy Studies Organization. Schneider has also done extensive research connecting school facilities to educational outcomes.
Schneider has been active in his professional organizations, having served as the Vice President of the American Political Science Association 2000-2001; President, American Political Science Association Public Policy Section, 2000-2001; Program Chair, Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meetings, 2001; and on the executives council of the Midwest Political Science Association, the APSA Urban Section, and the APSA Public Policy Section. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, New York City, September 1997-July 1998 and at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, August 1990-August 1991. Earlier he held a Fulbright-Hays Senior Fellowship, 1980-1981, at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.