Christopher Swanson is the director of the EPE Research Center, a division of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week. In this capacity, he oversees a staff of full-time researchers and interns who conduct annual policy surveys, collect data, and perform analyses that appear in the Quality Counts, Technology Counts, and Diplomas Count annual reports of Education Week.
Prior to joining Editorial Projects in Education in 2005, Swanson was a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, where he focused on issues of federal policy and urban high school reform involving small-school restructuring. While at the Urban Institute, he led several evaluation and research projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and other funders. Swanson was also the co-principal investigator of a large five-year evaluation of an extensive high school reform initiative being implemented in the Baltimore City Public School System.
During the past few years, much of Swanson’s research has examined the implementation of accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act; in particular, the challenges associated with accurately measuring high school graduation rates. He has been called on by the U.S. Department of Education as well as the Government Accountability Office to advise on issues related to graduation rates. In addition, Swanson has served on advisory panels for such groups as the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, and has provided guidance to a variety of professional and membership organizations.
Swanson’s research has been presented at national conferences, profiled in the national media, and published in leading scholarly journals, including Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Sociology of Education, Social Psychology of Education, and Rationality and Society. He has also contributed chapters in several recent and forthcoming edited volumes: No Child Left Behind and The Reduction of the Achievement Gap (Routledge), Dropouts in America: Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis (Harvard), and Reflections on the Social Organization of Schooling: A Tribute to Charles E. Bidwell (Russell Sage Foundation).