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Henry Braun

Director of the Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Education Policy

photo of Henry Braun

Henry Braun earned a B.Sc. (Hon.) in mathematics from McGill University and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Stanford University. After serving as an assistant professor of statistics at Princeton University, he joined Educational Testing Service in 1979, where he held a series of increasingly responsible positions. He was vice-president for research management from 1990 to 1999 and held the title of distinguished presidential appointee from 1999-2006. In 2007, he retired from ETS and assumed the position of Boisi Professor of Education and Public Policy in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.

Braun has published broadly in probability, statistics, and educational measurement, and he has consulted for a variety of private, public, and governmental organizations. He was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1991. He is a co-recipient of the 1986 Palmer O. Johnson Award of the American Educational Research Association and a co-recipient of the National Council for Measurement in Education’s 1999 Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution to the Field of Educational Measurement.

He has been invited to give keynote presentations at many conferences both in the United States and abroad and has also served on a number of international advisory boards. Most recently, he was a member of the Massachusetts Task Force on the Evaluation of Teachers and Administrators and is currently a member of technical advisory committees for the states of Massachusetts, Missouri and Louisiana, as well as the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a multi-state consortium funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Race to the Top initiative. He serves in a similar role for the Program in International Assessment of Adult Competencies, sponsored by the OECD.

Braun’s interests include school and teacher accountability, the role of testing in education policy, the analysis of large-scale survey data and standard setting. In recent years, he has published on a variety of topics including the Black-White achievement gap, comparative school effectiveness, applications of multi-level modeling, the role of literacy in economic and social welfare, and test design. He has done considerable work in the area of value-added modeling and authored Using Student Progress to Evaluate Teachers: A Primer on Value-Added Models (2006). He was a major contributor the OECD monograph Measuring Improvements in Learning Outcomes: Best Practices to Assess the Value-added of Schools (2008) and chair of the NRC panel that recently issued the publication Getting value out of value-added: Report of a workshop (2010).

Braun’s current projects include:

  1. The evaluation of a novel province-wide special education initiative in Ontario, Canada;
  2. The secondary analysis of data from a recent administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress to identify pedagogical strategies that support 8th grade mathematical achievement;
  3. Considerations on the future of international large-scale assessment surveys.