UCSB Political Scientist Elected to National Academy of Education

Lorraine McDonnell, professor of political science at UC Santa Barbara, has been elected to the National Academy of Education (NAEd). She is the only scholar from UCSB who is currently a member of the prestigious organization.

McDonnell holds three degrees in political science, including a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and master's and doctorate degrees from Stanford University. Before joining the faculty at UCSB, she served as a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation where she led research projects on the implementation of state and federal education policies, the political role of teacher unions, and the design of educational accountability systems.

She is the author of several books, including "Politics, Persuasion, and Educational Testing (Harvard University Press, 2004), which focuses on the politics of student testing. Currently, she is working with Stephen Weatherford on research that examines U.S. presidential leadership in economic policy.

"This is a very meaningful recognition by her peers of Professor McDonnell's exceptional scholarship and national leadership on education issues," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "Her election to the National Academy of Education is yet another affirmation of her excellence as a researcher, teacher, and mentor, as well as her commitment to helping our society by advancing our understanding of education policy and its implications for learning and accountability. Our entire campus community takes great pride in her achievements and contributions."

McDonnell, who was appointed a national associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 2003, currently serves as president of the American Educational Research Institute. In addition, she is a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Research Council's Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. She was a member of the NRC's Board on Testing and Assessment for seven years, and has served as a member of six NRC committees related to education, including those that address testing, students with disabilities, and adult literacy. She also served as co-chair of the NRC committee on the redesign of the United States naturalization test.

Said John Woolley, professor and chair of political science at UCSB, about McDonnell's election to the NAEd: "This is another well-deserved recognition for an exceptional scholar who has long been a national leader in education research and policy."

Founded in 1965, the NAEd advances the highest quality education research and its use in policy formation and practice. The academy consists of 200 U.S. members and 25 foreign associates who are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship or contributions to education. Since its establishment, the academy has undertaken numerous commissions and study panels, which typically include both NAEd members and other scholars with expertise in a particular area of inquiry.

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