July 14, 1994
Vol. 14, No. 1

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    Bryk named adviser for Chicago Public Schools

    w/photo Anthony Bryk, Professor in Education and Director of the Center for School Improvement at the University, has been named Adviser to the General Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools.

    Bryk will advise on research, assessment, accountability and policy analysis for Chicago Public Schools. The yearlong arrangement is a pro bono contribution of Bryk's time by the University. In his new position, Bryk will divide his time for a year between University responsibilities and the public schools.

    An expert on school reform and a leading researcher on testing, Bryk will help prepare new procedures to assist in the development of better methods for student assessment. He will also develop plans to improve school accountability and policy analysis and will recommend ways for local school council members, principals, teachers, parents and students to make suggestions about school improvements.

    Bryk will be working with John Easton, director of monitoring and research for the Chicago Panel on School Policy and co-director with Bryk of the Consortium on Chicago School Research, a federation of Chicago-area research organizations that encourages school reform. Easton has been named Chicago Public Schools' Interim Director of Research Evaluation and Planning for one year.

    "In support of the restructuring effort, we expect to bring together a team of local and national advisers in the areas of testing, evaluation, assessment and school-system research and analysis," Bryk said. "This team will consider all the technical and logistical issues surrounding the creation of a new research and accountability system for the Chicago Public Schools."

    Bryk said he and Easton plan to develop a formal mechanism to ensure that the interests of people involved with schools at the local level are considered as the restructuring goes forward. "The decision making that occurs at the local school level, under school reform, needs improved analytical support and must take into account many of the national developments surrounding educational goals, assessment and accountability," he said.

    Bryk and Easton also expect to work with the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, a federally funded center that focuses on school improvement.

    Bryk's research examines the social organization of schools and how they can be made more productive workplaces for students and teachers. He is also a widely recognized expert on educational statistics. Among his books is "Hierarchical Linear Models: Applications and Data Analysis Methods" (1992).

    A University faculty member since 1984, Bryk previously was on the faculty at Harvard, where he received his Ed.D. in 1977. From 1971 to 1983, he was a researcher with the Huron Institute, where his research focused on large-scale social programs such as Head Start and Follow Through.