March 11, 2015

Former Penn GSE Dean Andy Porter honored for influential research


Former Penn GSE dean and quantitative methods expert Andy Porter has been honored by The American Educational Research Association (AERA) with the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award. Andy Porter with Ben Franklin statueThe award is the premier acknowledgment of outstanding achievement and success in education research, and is designed to publicize, motivate, encourage, and suggest models for education research at its best. Porter will receive the award at a ceremony April 18 at the AERA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Additionally, a 2014 Porter article (co-authored with Morgan S. Polikoff, his former Ph.D. student, who is now an assistant professor at USC) was named the most-read AERA journal article of the year. Adding the first substantive research to a hot button issue, the article found weak to nonexistent relationships between state-administered value-added model measures of teacher performance and the content or quality of teachers’ instruction. Entitled “Instructional Alignment as a Measure of Teaching Quality,” the piece was published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis last May.

Porter was also co-author on an article recently honored by the Association of Teacher Educators, this time based on a NSF-funded study of beginning math teachers. Published in the Journal of Teacher Education, “Formal and Informal Mentoring: Complementary, Compensatory, or Consistent?” was written by a research team led by Penn GSE professor Laura Desimone, with all of the authors associated with Penn GSE—Morgan Polikoff and Eric Hochberg were Ph.D. students at the time of submission, and Robert Schwartz and Laurie (Joy) Johnson were masters students. The Distinguished Research in Teacher Education award was established by the Association of Teacher Educators to recognize and encourage outstanding investigations influencing teacher education and/or student learning.