New director of CEEP appointed as research director for federal education research lab

Friday, August 9, 2013

Nationally known expert in program evaluation and mixed methods research John Hitchcock, the newly appointed director of the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy at the Indiana University School of Education, has also been appointed as research director for the Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia.

RELs across the country partner with schools, state education departments and others to help support the education system through practices based on research. REL Appalachia covers Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Hitchcock joined CEEP last week, becoming director after a national search. He leaves Ohio University, where he was an associate professor of education research and evaluation. Within the IU School of Education, he will also be an associate professor of instructional systems technology.

As the research director for REL Appalachia, Hitchcock will help provide direction for the research agenda of the lab and ensure the rigor and quality of studies and final reports. He'll also communicate with the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, to ensure the lab's portfolio of studies is in line with expectations.

"We're delighted to have John as a member of our faculty and director of CEEP," said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education. "The fact that he has already secured a major contract to serve as REL director of research speaks volumes about his standing in the field of program evaluation research and evidence-based practices. This is an area of increasing concern in the state and nationally."

Hitchcock is excited to join IU and CEEP.

"Obtaining a position at a world-class organization like Indiana University and CEEP offers an opportunity to engage in the highest possible research activity in the program evaluation arena," he said. "CEEP's work interests me because I am keenly interested in school practices, education policy and identifying evidence-based curricula.

"Operationally, the center is very successful as a contract organization, and I look forward to building partnerships between CEEP and several other top-level organizations with which I have been associated, greatly enhancing the work we can do together for those who make important decisions based upon our research and service."

Examples of the breadth of his work include multiple large-scale randomized controlled trials; a What Works Clearinghouse review of interventions designed to meet the needs of K-12 children who struggle with emotional-behavioral disorders; helping to develop standards for assessing the causal validity of single-case designs; providing methodological support for colleagues at Tulane and Georgia State universities; and supporting projects that focus on meeting the needs of students in Appalachian Ohio.

As an active member in professional organizations such as the American Educational Research Association, the American Evaluation Association and the National Association of School Psychologists, Hitchcock serves variously as editor, reviewer, presenter and author. He is currently an associate editor of School Psychology Review. His work is widely published in text books, peer-reviewed journals and monographs.

At Ohio University, Hitchcock taught doctoral courses in program evaluation and mixed methods research. He also taught introductory and intermediate statistics, qualitative methods and research design. As a methodologist, he assisted the research of several faculty colleagues across the university, as well as doctoral students working on dissertations in different departments.

Hitchcock has served as the lead or co-principal investigator on several large projects, including with ICF International, Mathematica Policy Research, the American Institutes for Research, Edvance, the Instructional Research Group, CNA, REL Northwest, the Hawaii Department of Education and other organizations that do major national and international education research and program evaluation projects.

CEEP, one of the country's leading nonpartisan program evaluation and education policy research centers, promotes and supports rigorous evaluation and research primarily, but not exclusively, for educational, human services and nonprofit organizations and agencies. Clients include state and local agencies throughout the U.S., various federal departments, private organizations and foundations, and NATO. Center projects address state, national and international education questions.

CEEP was organized in 2004 when the IU School of Education merged the Indiana Center for Evaluation and the Indiana Education Policy Center. Both original centers had decades-long reputations for producing highly reliable, research-based information for policymakers.