Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Professor Thomas J. Kane has been appointed deputy director of education for the U.S. Programs division at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Kane will remain on faculty at the HGSE, where he has been a professor and faculty director of the Project for Policy Innovation in Education since 2005.
A nationally recognized education policy expert, Kane will lead the foundation’s research efforts to help ensure that all students graduate high school ready for the challenges of college and the workplace.
“Tom is uniquely suited to assist the Gates Foundation as they develop a strategy for investments in education research,” said HGSE Dean Kathleen McCartney. “His work in the field has greatly influenced America’s efforts to strengthen education policy.”
Kane and his colleagues have collaborated with school districts around the country, using data to evaluate hiring and certification policies for teachers, public school choice systems, and effects of charter and pilot schools on student outcomes. In his work at the foundation, he hopes to build on that experience, encouraging more districts and states to use data to evaluate programs and policies.
“The stockpile of student achievement data … is a valuable national resource, one that holds promise for reinventing the way education research is done,” said Kane. “The Gates Foundation is committed to using those data to learn what’s working and what’s not. We cannot make the rapid progress we seek without continuously learning from our efforts.”
“Tom’s work and his leadership in education have helped transform America’s mindset when it comes to improving our schools, supporting teachers, and raising student achievement,” said Vicki L. Phillips, director of the foundation’s education division. “He’ll make sure we’re getting our facts right, asking the right questions, and taking the right steps to put all students on the path to success.”