Executive Directors

David Plank

Before joining PACE in January 2007, David N. Plank was a Professor at Michigan State University, where he founded and directed the Education Policy Center. He was previously on the faculties at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he taught courses and conducted research in the areas of educational finance and policy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1983. Plank is the author or editor of six books, including the AERA Handbook of Education Policy Research. He has published widely in a number of different fields, including economics of education, history of education, and educational policy. His current interests include the role of the State in education, and the relationship between academic research and public policy. In addition to his work in the United States, Plank has extensive international experience. He has served as a consultant to international organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States Agency for International Development, the Ford Foundation, and also to governments in Africa and Latin America.

Executive Director, CORE-PACE Research Partnership

Heather J. Hough is the Executive Director of the research partnership between Policy Analysis for California Education and the CORE Districts, a collaborative of eight California school districts who have developed a robust measurement and accountability system that represents nearly a million students. Before joining PACE, Heather was an improvement adviser with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, helping education system leaders use research and data to support continuous improvement. She has worked as a researcher with the Public Policy Institute of California, the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, and the Center for Education Policy at SRI International. Heather’s area of expertise is in district- and state-level policymaking and implementation, with a particular focus on policy coherence, system improvement, and school and teacher accountability. She holds a Ph.D. in education policy and a B.A. in public policy from Stanford University.

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