Education Law Center recently welcomed three individuals whose nationally recognized work is indispensable in the pursuit of education justice to its board of trustees.

The three new trustees are Dr. Jacqueline Jones, Dr. Kevin Welner and Dr. Janelle Scott.

“ELC is thrilled to welcome Dr. Jones and Professors Scott and Welner to the ELC family,” said Executive Director Robert Kim. “The expertise and perspective they bring in education research, policy and action is unparalleled, and so valuable to us, particularly at a moment where public education and our democracy are facing existential threats from multiple fronts.”

“These three individuals are giants in their fields, whether that’s early childhood education, fighting education privatization, or fostering democratic and equitable schooling,” said Gregory Little, ELC’s board of trustees’ chair. “It’s our great honor to welcome them to the board, and we look forward to working together to ensure ELC’s continued growth as a national leader in litigation, research and advocacy in support of public education.”

Dr. Jacqueline Jones is an outstanding policy maker, researcher and educator. She is the former president and CEO of the Foundation for Child Development and previously served as the senior adviser on early learning to the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and as the country’s first deputy assistant secretary for policy and early learning in the U.S. Department of Education during the first term of the Obama administration.

Prior to federal service, she was the assistant commissioner for the Division of Early Childhood Education in the New Jersey State Department of Education, where she oversaw the alignment of standards, curricula and assessments for preschool through 3rd-grade programs. Jones also worked for over 15 years as a senior research scientist at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, where her work focused on documentation and assessment of young children’s learning. She has been a visiting faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a full-time faculty member at the City University of New York.

Jones has been invited to speak across the country and internationally. She has served on several national advisory committees, including the National Research Council’s Committee on Developmental Outcomes and Assessments for Young Children and the Institute on Medicine’s consensus committee that produced Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8.

Dr. Kevin Welner is a professor of education policy at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education and (by courtesy) at the School of Law. He’s also the director of the National Education Policy Center housed at CU Boulder, which works to build bridges between the research world and the broader public.

Welner has authored or edited 18 books and well over 100 articles and book chapters, including Closing the Opportunity Gap (co-edited with Prudence Carter), which is the foundation for his recent work on the importance of improving children’s opportunities to learn inside and outside of school. His other works include a law school casebook, Education and the Law, co-authored with Robert Kim and Stuart Biegel.

Welner is a senior research fellow at the Learning Policy Institute and an American Educational Research Association Fellow. He’s been given the AERA’s Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award, Early Career Award, and Palmer O. Johnson Award for best journal article. The Horace Mann League honored Dr. Welner with its Outstanding Public Educator Award in 2018.

Dr. Janelle Scott is a professor and the Birgeneau distinguished chair in educational disparities at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the chair of the Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy Cluster of the Othering and Belonging Institute. She is currently president-elect of the American Educational Research Association, a member of the National Academy of Education and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.

A former elementary school teacher, Scott conducts research on the politics of educational policy in a multiracial, segregated, and unequal society. She specifically examines how school choice policies, civil rights policies, privatization and philanthropy affect democratic accountability and equity in public education. Her second book, The Politics of Education Policy in an Era of Inequality: Possibilities for Democratic Schooling (Routledge, 2019), co-authored with Sonya Horsford and Gary Andersonwas honored with a 2020 American Educational Studies Association’s Critics Choice AwardOther works of hers include School Choice and Diversity: What the Evidence Says (Teachers College Press, 2005) and Racialization and Educational Inequality in Global Perspective.