Stephen Plank is a managing researcher at AIR. Dr. Plank has more than 20 years of experience in research and evaluation of school improvement efforts and sociological studies of education. His current responsibilities include leading a project funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to develop a networked improvement community focused on student-centered assessment practices in high schools. Dr. Plank also serves as senior advisor on partnership formation and research design for the Midwest Achievement Gap Research Alliance, a partnership of the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Additionally, he leads the internal evaluation team for the State Support Network, an AIR-based technical assistance initiative funded by the Office of School Support at the U.S. Department of Education. Finally, as a member of the leadership team of AIR’s secondary education, college, and careers practice area, he has responsibility for project development and oversight in the areas of transitions to post-secondary education and career readiness.
Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Plank was director of research and evaluation at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS is the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Social Innovation Fund. As CNCS’s lead technical expert on research and evaluation regarding national service programs and volunteerism, Dr. Plank led a team in examining program implementation, effectiveness, and policy impact.
Before serving with CNCS, Dr. Plank was a faculty member and research scientist at Johns Hopkins University for over 18 years. He was affiliated with the Department of Sociology, Center for Social Organization of Schools, and the NSF-funded STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES) program. One of his major efforts in Baltimore was co-founding and co-leading the Baltimore Education Research Consortium. BERC is a partnership of the Baltimore City Public Schools, Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, and other civic and community partners.
Dr. Plank’s publications include articles in American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Journal of Vocational Education Research, Sociology of Education, and American Journal of Education.