Focus in ECPS: Faculty

Dr. Jeremy D. Finn (Ph.D. The University of Chicago) is a member of the program in Educational Culture, Policy and Society and Director of Programs in Educational Psychology and Quantitative Methods. He has been a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, held fellowships with the National Research Council, Educational Testing Service, National Center for Education Statistics, and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement in Stockholm. Jeremy Finn’s research spans a number of policy areas. He was a lead evaluator for Project STAR, the four-year study of the effects of class-size reduction in the elementary grades (K-3), and continues to analyze STAR data to understand the impact of small classes on students through young adulthood. Other areas in which he has made major contributions include the study of gender differences in educational outcomes, academic resilience among students at risk, school discipline and security measures, and student engagement and dropping out. His work on engagement and dropping out began with publication of the now-classic paper “Withdrawing from School” (Review of Educational Research, 1989). The article explains how dropping out and other forms of withdrawal from school have their roots in the earliest grades and result from myriad interactions between students and their schools. His papers have been published in a wide array of venues, including Journal of Applied Psychology, Harvard Educational Review, the 2006 government report “The Adult Lives of At-Risk Students: The Roles of Attainment and Engagement in High School”), and the Handbook of Research on Student Engagement. He was a member of the six-person panel to produce the recent U.S. Department of Education’s Dropout Prevention, and has received research grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, and the William T. Grant Foundation.

Dr. Seong Won Han (Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an Assistant Professor of Educational Culture, Policy and Society. Her research interests include international and comparative education, gender inequalities in STEM, educational policy, and teacher quality. Using large-scale international surveys and student achievement data, her current project focuses on cross-national differences in occupational expectations for STEM careers among students in a wide range of nations. She also investigates the factors that support improvement of instruction and student outcomes in urban public schools in the United States, with specific focus on how comprehensive school reform efforts can support instructional change among teachers, and how educational leaders can support teachers’ improvement efforts. Her research has been published in the Review of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, and as part of an edited collection on leadership and instructional change. Seong Won Han received the Thomas J. Alexander (TJA) Fellowship from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This fellowship aims to support quantitative research so as to provide evidence-based analysis relating to improvements in educational quality and equity.

Dr. Jaekyung Lee (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Dean of the Graduate School of Education and a member of the program in Educational Culture, Policy and Society as well as the program in Educational Psychology and Quantitative Methods. Jaekyung Lee’s research focuses on issues of educational equity and accountability, including high-stakes testing and achievement gaps among racial and socioeconomic groups. He specializes in education policy analysis and program evaluation using large-scale national databases. He also conducts research in the area of international and comparative education, with focus on the comparison of American vs. Asian education systems. His primary research interests focus on addressing pressing social issues in the areas of educational accountability and equity, high-stakes testing, and educational achievement gaps. His work has been supported by grants from the American Educational Research Association, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation, and has been published in numerous scholarly journals. He also is the author of the book “The Testing Gap: Scientific Trials of Test-Driven School Accountability Systems for Excellence and Equity.” Jaekyung Lee is an AERA Fellow, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He is the recipient of the 2007 AERA Early Career Award.

Dr. Lois Weis (Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin- Madison) is State University of New York Distinguished Professor and a member of the program in Educational Culture, Policy and Society. She has written extensively about the current predicament of White, African-American, and Latino/a working class and poor youth and young adults, and the complex role gender and race play in their lives in light of contemporary dynamics associated with the global knowledge economy, new patterns of emigration, and the movement of cultural and economic capital across national boundaries. She is the author and/or editor of numerous books and articles relating to race, class, gender, education and the economy, including her most recent book, Class Warfare: Class, race, and college admissions in top-tier secondary schools (with Kristin Cipollone and Heather Jenkins, University of Chicago Press) and Education and Social Class: Global Perspectives (with Nadine Dolby). Her articles appear in a wide range of journals, including American Educational Research Journal, Review of Educational Research, Harvard Educational Review, Signs, and Anthropology and Education Quarterly, among others. She is a winner of the outstanding book award from the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America, and past Editor of the American Educational Research Journal-Social and Institutional Analysis section. Lois Weis is member of the National Academy of Education (NAEd), and an Honorary Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. She has received research grants from the Spencer Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Association for Institutional Research.