Established in 1996, under the direction of Paul E. Peterson (Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government), the Program on Education Policy and Governance has rapidly distinguished itself as a significant player within the educational reform movement.
Having supplemented the program leadership with the addition of Deputy Director Martin R. West (William Henry Bloomberg Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Editor-in-Chief, Education Next) and through the support of its institutional sponsors—the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Government in Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences—PEPG continues to fulfill its core missions:
- Provide high-level scientific training for young scholars who can make independent contributions to scholarly research.
- Foster a national community of reform-minded scientific researchers.
- Produce path-breaking studies that provide a scientific basis for school reform policy.
With the establishment of Education Next, PEPG has helped to create a distinguished outlet for policy-relevant reflection by education practitioners, professors, and renowned journalists.
PEPG's fellowship program was initiated to attract top masters and doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to quantitative-based investigations of issues in education reform at Harvard. The program has been a resounding success since its inception in 2002. These fellows have collaborated on some of PEPG's most important research papers and in organizing program conferences. Past fellows currently hold tenured and tenure-track positions at major colleges, universities and research centers in the United States and abroad.
In addition to these fellows, PEPG has worked with numerous Harvard University graduate students and undergraduates, who have contributed substantially to program events and research through their work as PEPG research fellows.
By hosting numerous national conferences on issues ranging from school choice to school board politics, the program has brought together some of the nation's most respected education researchers and legal scholars on an annual basis. And with the initiation of the PEPG Education Policy Colloquium Series in 2004, the program has provided a more intimate forum to nurture an interest in education research within the Harvard community.