Member Since 2019


Russ Whitehurst is a nonresident fellow in the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute. He previously was director of the Brown Center on Education Policy and a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. As the founding director of the Institute of Education Sciences within the US Department of Education, Whitehurst is widely acknowledged to have had a transforming effect on the rigor and relevance of education research. In his earlier career as a developmental psychologist, he carried out seminal research on early literacy, language development, and preschool education. A program he developed to enhance language development in children from low-income families, dialogic reading, is used in preschools around the world. Whitehurst has received numerous professional awards, including the Microsoft Innovators in Higher Education Award, the Peter H. Rossi Award of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, and the Robert Boruch Award of the Campbell Collaboration.

Published Articles & Media

A Prevalence of “Policy-Based Evidence-Making”

Forum: Should Schools Embrace Social and Emotional Learning?

More Evidence That Benefits of Government-Funded Pre-K Are Overblown

Supporters of increased investments in state pre-K need to confront the evidence that it does not enhance student achievement meaningfully, if at all. It may, of course, have positive impacts on other outcomes.

What is the Market Price of Daycare and Preschool?

Knowing what families of different income and educational levels are currently paying for daycare can inform policy debates over how much taxpayers should spend to help families afford it.

New Evidence on School Choice and Racially Segregated Schools

School district policies that allow parents to easily choose a school for their children can lead to schools that are more segregated than would be the case if school assignment were based entirely on zip code.

Will Tax Reform Provide More Support for Children and Their Families?...

Plans for federal tax cuts and reforms need to be fleshed out in ways that provide greater benefits for children in families most in need.

Rigorous Preschool Research Illuminates Policy (and Why the Heckman Equation May...

Let's avoid big and irrevocable bets on conclusions and recommendations that are far out in front of what a careful reading of the underlying evidence can support.

Why the Federal Government Should Subsidize Childcare and How to Pay...

There is broad public support for more government spending on childcare as long as that spending does not result in another unfunded entitlement that worsens the deficit

Grading Soft Skills: The Brookings Soft Skills Report Card

Towards a more productive way of measuring students' "soft skills."

Education Under President Trump Doesn’t Look As Scary As You Might...

Two aspects of a Trump administration create the prospect of significant disruption in the way things have been.

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