The Robert Boruch Award honours an individual who has made an important contribution to research on social interventions that inform public policy.This year Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst has been selected as the recipient of this award for his significant contributions to advancing the use of evidence to inform policy, particularly in the field of education.
In 2002 Whitehurst became the director of the newly created Institute for Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education. He launched IES with an immediate emphasis on randomized field experiments when possible, and strong quasi-experiments when they were not, breaking with the traditional nature of federally funded education research. He also created a well-structured grants program that supported a sequence of exploratory, developmental, efficacy, and scaled-up effectiveness studies, aimed at both developing new interventions and rigorously testing new and old ones. Under his leadership the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) division was created at the department. WWC focuses on large scale evaluations research projects, and undertakes extensive evaluations of innovative and existing educational programs and policies. It has become a major resource for promoting and disseminating research and evidence in education, and supporting evidence-based research.
Whitehurst is now a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, after having served his 6-year term at IES.
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